The neighborhood, not removed from Amelia Earhart Park, is a set of palm-tree-lined single-story properties, a lot of them surrounded by white fences and finely manicured landscaping. The neighborhood is on the north aspect of Hialeah, one of many Miami space’s most reliably Republican-leaning cities, with a robust contingent of conservative Cuban voters.
As a longtime Hialeah resident, Monzon — as soon as often called the “Cuban Accomplice” for his help for Southern states’ secession — probably felt at house canvassing locally.
Whereas handing out political flyers selling Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Ron DeSantis, Monzon ran right into a pair of native residents with violent rap sheets, who have been hanging by a brand new Mercedes Benz SUV with two German shepherd guard canine within the again seat.
Police data state that Monzon acquired into an argument with the 2 males — 25-year-old Javier Jesus Lopez of Hialeah and 27-year-old Jonathan Alexander Casanova of Miami — after they instructed him they did not need him of their neighborhood.
The dispute devolved right into a brutal beating during which the duo fractured Monzon’s eye socket and severely bruised his face, in line with Hialeah police. Lopez slammed Monzon into the bottom and continued punching him whereas he was defenseless on the pavement, police say. In the course of the combat, Casanova allegedly opened his 2021 Mercedes sport utility car and let his canine out. Based on the police data, he inspired the 2 German shepherds to assault Monzon whereas Monzon was being assaulted by Lopez.
Lopez was arrested on scene, however police have been unable to instantly find Casanova, who fled the realm in his car earlier than officers arrived.
Whereas Monzon was being handled at HCA Florida Kendall Hospital, a politically charged firestorm erupted after Rubio publicly said that Monzon was assaulted as a result of he’s a Republican and was sporting garb in help of the senator. Rubio indicated on his social media that the attackers instructed Monzon that Republicans “aren’t allowed of their neighborhood.”
Lopez’s arrest report made no point out of a political dispute. His mom, Diana Rosa Lopez, instructed the Miami Herald that her son has by no means voted, and that she didn’t know what political motivations Rubio was referencing.
When Casanova was arrested in Miami Seaside two days after the incident, Hialeah police authored a second report that detailed Monzon’s sworn allegation that Casanova focused him as a result of he’s a Republican, which was in keeping with what Rubio had posted earlier within the week.
As of October 27, the publicly out there police data embrace statements from Monzon, however none from Lopez and Casanova. The alleged attackers haven’t commented on what sparked the confrontation, and the Miami-Dade public defenders’ workplace has not responded to New Instances’ request for remark.
The Hialeah Police Division claims that video surveillance footage corroborates Monzon’s assertion that he tried to maneuver away from Lopez and Casanova after they confronted him on the sidewalk. (New Instances has submitted a public data request for the video.)
Within the days following the incident, Sen. Rubio has criticized the media for citing Monzon’s previous as a white nationalist and his completely reported historical past of anti-Semitism and racism. Rubio particularly attacked the Miami Herald over the article during which the paper interviewed Lopez’s mom.
“When a republican volunteer is savagely overwhelmed the normal media treats the sufferer because the prison and the prison as a pleasant younger man who likes fishing & simply made a mistake,” Rubio tweeted on Tuesday.
The controversy comes two weeks earlier than a midterm election during which Rubio is seeking to fend off Democratic challenger Val Demings.
A evaluation of Miami-Dade County prison courtroom data reveals that each one three males concerned within the altercation have a historical past of felony costs arising from alleged violent conduct.
In 2016, Casanova was charged with armed theft and kidnapping; he served probation on the primary cost. He was additionally hit with a felony depend of grand theft that 12 months, although that case was dropped by prosecutors.
Lopez is out on probation stemming from two separate housebreaking and theft circumstances courting again to 2017 and 2018. In one of many circumstances, he was accused of robbing a neighborhood enterprise whereas armed with a knife. The opposite case concerned his arrest after police discovered him driving a stolen car.
Final 12 months, Lopez confronted one other prison case during which he was charged with three counts of assault with a lethal weapon. The case was dropped by prosecutors and closed out in April 2021.
For his half, Monzon served probation and was ordered to attend anger administration courses after he was caught on video utilizing a Accomplice flag as a spear, lunging at rival demonstrators in August 2017. He dedicated the assault whereas protesting the Metropolis of Hollywood’s plans to re-label streets named after accomplice generals and a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, in line with police data.
Weeks earlier, Monzon had attended the 2017 “Unite the Proper” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. On the rally, Monzon was filmed waving a accomplice flag whereas chanting the racially charged mantra “they won’t change us.”
Final 12 months, throughout his failed candidacy for a seat on the Hialeah Metropolis Council, Monzon stated he had left his long-held put up as a member of the white nationalist group Florida League of the South, and that he regretted utilizing slurs towards Black and Jewish folks. (Amongst different previous feedback, Monzon had allegedly expressed a need to “lynch negroes,” and that African People are “fortunate to be right here.”)
On his Instagram, the place he goes by Christopher Monzon Cedeno, Monzon apparently has posted solidarity with the Accomplice military as just lately as August 2021.