Van plows through Republican Party voter registration tent, narrowly missing volunteers

Van plows through Republican Party voter registration tent, narrowly missing volunteers
A van drove through a Republican Party tent during a voter registration event Saturday at a Walmart parking lot in Florida. (Republican Party of Duval County/Republican Party of Duval County)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A van drove through a Republican Party tent during a voter registration event Saturday at a Walmart parking lot in Florida.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a van drove through the Republican Party of Duval County’s tent around 3:45 p.m. while volunteers were registering voters.

The Republican Party of Duval County had six volunteers at the Kernan Village shopping center.

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An older brown van, driven by a white man in his early 20s, approached the tent, officials said. He then drove right through the table and tent with his van. The driver then stopped, got out of the van and took a video of the scene, flipped off the victims and fled. As of now, the driver has not been identified.

Investigators said that intelligence detectives will be looking into this as an aggravated assault case, as several people could have been seriously hurt.

They do not know if the motivation of the driver was political in nature, as the investigation is just starting.

“We are outraged by this senseless act of violence toward our great volunteers,” said Duval GOP Chairman Dean Black. “The Republican Party of Duval County will not be intimidated by these cowards, and we will not be silenced. I call on every Republican in our great city to stand up, get involved and show these radicals that we will not be intimidated from exercising our constitutional rights.”

The Republican Party of Duval County posted on Facebook that it plans to redouble its efforts to register voters.

Daniel Henry, the president of the Duval County Democratic Party, released a statement condemning the attack.

“The Duval County Democratic Party condemns this cowardly act of violence. No one’s life should be placed in danger for exercising their first amendment rights," Henry said in the statement. "As Democrats, but more importantly, as residents of this great city of Jacksonville, we call on our fellow citizens to act with dignity, civility and respect for one another during this election cycle and beyond. We look forward to JSO’s arrest of the perpetrator.”

President Donald Trump commented on the incident, saying, “Law Enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with!”

Republican politicians like Sen. Marco Rubio and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said on social media they are thankful no one was hurt.