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New surveillance video has emerged in the case of a Florida man who was arrested and accused of spitting on a 67-year-old man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat last month.
Robert Youngblood, 67, told an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy he was with two friends at the Hurricane Grill & Wings in Vero Beach around 8 p.m. Oct. 25. Newsweek reported that Matthias Ajple, 43, walked over and said, “You should go back to Russia you f***ing communist.”
Ajple then slapped Youngblood’s MAGA hat, TCPalm reported, citing a sheriff’s office report.
He then leaned over the restaurant’s gate railing and spit on him, the paper added.
The restaurant’s manager released surveillance video of the incident, which “clearly shows” Ajple “slapping … Youngblood’s hat and leaning over the gate to spit on him,” Newsweek noted, citing an affidavit.
Here’s surveillance footage released Wednesday, which sheriff’s deputies said shows Ajple spitting on the man, TCPalm reported in a follow-up piece:
The video also shows Ajple — as part of the slapping of the hat — sticking what appears to be a balled-up paper towel on the bill of Youngblood’s MAGA hat.
Before Ajple drove off, Youngblood wrote down the car’s license plate number, the paper said, after which deputies tracked down Ajple at his home.
At the house, a deputy spoke with Ajple’s wife, who said she told her husband to go up to Youngblood and tell him to “go back to Russia,” TCPalm noted, citing the report. But she told deputies she didn’t witness the incident, the paper said.
The deputy then spoke to Ajple, who seemed unfazed by what was about to happen to him.
“I was just trying to protect you guys because I support law enforcement. Trump supporters are communist and racist,” Ajple told the deputy, the paper reported. “I don’t even care that I’m going to jail; this is actually exciting.”
He added, “Plus, I have more time on this earth than he does anyway; he probably feels so good about himself,” TCPalm said, citing the report.
Ajple was charged with battery and brought to the Indian River County Jail, the paper said, adding that bond was set at $500.
Newsweek reported that he was booked at 12:15 a.m. Saturday and released the same day at 2:17 a.m.
Court records show Ajple entered a plea of not guilty on Oct. 28, TCPalm said, adding that his listed attorney Michael Ohle didn’t respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.