A Florida Republican canvasser clad in a Marco Rubio T-shirt and a Ron DeSantis hat was brutally attacked in a Hialeah, Fla., neighborhood by Democratic residents, Rubio tweeted Monday morning.
"Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a DeSantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren't allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida," Rubio wrote. "He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw, & will need facial reconstructive surgery."
Hialeah Police confirmed Monday afternoon that a man handing out fliers had been beaten and that an arrest had been made. But they made no mention of the canvasser's party affiliation or his possible links to the senator or governor's campaigns, and provided an account of the incident that involved only one attacker.
In an emailed response to the Miami Herald, Hialeah Sgt. Jose Torres said the 27-year-old victim had been hit "multiple times in the face and the head causing the injuries."
Torres said the victim, who wasn't named, had crossed the street at 140 E. 60th St. after being told he couldn't hand out fliers there, and that he was followed. Torres said Javier Lopez, 25, struck him repeatedly, causing bruises and lacerations. Lopez was arrested, Torres said. He didn't say what crime Lopez was charged with.
The report comes as 68 percent of American voters view crime as a "very important" issue in the midterm elections, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll published last week. Rubio is ahead of his Democratic Senate challenger Val Demings by 6.4 points, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is beating Democrat Charlie Crist by 10 points, according to the latest polls.