RED BLUFF, Calif. (KRCR) — A 77-year-old military veteran described how he was attacked in Red Bluff, apparently because he was wearing a 'Make America Great Again' (MAGA) hat supporting President Donald Trump.
The attack happened Friday, September 18 in broad daylight at the Red Bluff post office..
The victim did not want to be identified. He told KRCR-TV the attack caught him completely by surprise. He was wearing a MAGA hat and a 'Back the Blue' mask with a blue line in support of police. He was approached by a man and woman.
"She looked at me and she goes, 'We just don't like people like you.' Just kind of got shocked a little bit and said, 'Well, that breaks my heart,' and no more sooner out of my mouth, I get hit on the left side of my head. "
"Then somehow he got me in a headlock and started pounding me on top of my head ... I got blood all over the place and I'm trying to figure, you know, where's my hat, where's my package?"
The victim was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he was treated and released. A photo shows cuts and scrapes to the top of his head. Three days later he said he's still having headaches.
Red Bluff Police later arrested the suspect 26-year-old Daniel Gomez-Martinez for battery and elder abuse.
The victim said he blames himself. He thinks he should have seen it coming.
"I just feel kind of bad, seven years in the military, Vietnam veteran and 30 plus years in law enforcement and you're always taught situational awareness. And this guy came out of ... I never saw it coming."
"I was so shocked for the hate that people have, you know. I don't hate them. I never met them. I just can't believe they would do something like that."