A Trump supporter in Pennsylvania now faces multiple charges after he assaulted a 69-year-old retired social worker.
Frank Ashbaugh was holding an anti-Trump protest when he was attacked. His attacker has now been charged with several crimes.
Allegheny Township police have charged Michael Robert Atwood, 38, with a misdemeanor count of simple assault and additional offenses after he reportedly assaulted Ashbaugh while seated in a lawn chair holding an anti-Trump banner.
“This guy hit me from behind and I never saw him coming,” Ashbaugh said. He then added that Atwood had grabbed a camera strap that was around his neck and used it to drag him to the ground. Atwood has also been charged with theft, criminal mischief, and causing damage to property.
“I think it was premeditated because he parked far away in the Stanford lot and had gloves on when he attacked me,” Ashbaugh said.
Atwood told local media that he reached out to Ashbaugh and “agreed to pay for the camera that was accidentally broken” and that Ashbaugh agreed to drop the charges. Ashbaugh states that he hasn’t agreed to anything and that someone that claimed to be a friend of Atwood showed up at his house and asked him to drop the charges, but he told the man that he had no plans of dropping anything.
“It’s my free speech rights,” Ashbaugh said. “As long as I don’t block traffic, my free speech rights are protected.”
Ashbaugh shared the experience with his friends in a Facebook post that included photos of the assault as it was happening.
“OK folks this is my recounting of Thursday’s BVBSB adventure at Stanford’s here in Allegheny Twp., Westmoreland County. Photos 1 & 2 were placed at 8am. I arrived on scene with the big show at 1:30pm as seen in photo 3. For the first hour it was quiet except for a few honking horns as I slowing went about placing the 34 signs I brought to the show. At 2:35pm the shit hit the fan.”
“As I was sitting in my lawn chair facing traffic waving a sign that read “Trump is a loser and a cheat” on one side and “Biden beat Bozo” on the other. This is when some back fighting TrumpChump sneaks up from behind and gives me a sweeping forearm to the back of my head as he grabbed my sign out of my hands. He started calling me a fat f**k” to which I had know reply, since I really am a fat f**k. He immediately started to depart back across the street to Stanford’s lumber yard. (I found out later from police that Stanford’s surveillance camera had his car and him down at their rental operation). But before he left, I told him that he was on camera, which further enraged him. I had my own camera out and I snapped the photo of him swatting me with my 2 signs before he fled,” Ashbaugh wrote on Facebook.
He then added, “As soon as he was gone, I picked up another sign and sat down in my chair and began working the intersection. About 30 minutes later my assailant again hit me from behind with the same sweeping head slap and sign grab, only this time he was beside himself with rage because I didn’t flee after the first assault. Now he began pulling out every sign while continuing to scream that I was defacing his triangle and that I was a fat fuck, Once again I warned him that he was on camera as I raised my own to start a video. This failed.”
“Now he got more physical as he grabbed the camera which was strapped to my neck. He yanked me to the ground as I grabbed my camera and we began a bug tussle over it, with him banging me on the ground to loosen my grip. He lost the tussle and I kept the camera. Now, this is when things took a funny turn. As we were tugging at the camera he we also dragging me and my belt wasn’t tight enough to hold my Bermuda shorts on. So after about 6 feet, my shorts are at my feet and I’m in my underwear. I thought to myself that this is close to an indecent exposure charge and I started to laugh. This threw him for a loop as he didn’t know how to react to the crazy man laughing on the ground at him. At this point, several people began intervene. I want to give my sincere thanks to Mr. Swartzlander and a gentleman who only identified himself as Jim. Mr. Swartzlander was calling 911 to summon the police as he crossed the street. Jim had in mind actual physical interdiction to protect me. This was enough for my assailant who fled back to Stanford’s Lumber Yard. Thanks, guys. More importantly, they stayed to serve as witnesses to the police which furthered the apprehension later that afternoon.
Which brings this story to the part where the police showed up with 2 squad cars, their pickup truck and an unmarked car in about 5 minutes. It was awesome and the police were very professional as the systematically interviewed us all separately. At 8 pm I received a call from the police advising that they identified the assailant as Michael Atwood from Gilpin Twp. Mr. Atwood confessed to 4 summary offenses including theft, simple assault, harassment, and the destruction of my wife’s Nikon camera. Not a good day for Mr. Atwood.
I sincerely thank our police for all they do to protect my Constitutional Rights and my sorry ass. After they all departed, I resumed the show until the rain chased me home.
Remember kids, resistance in not futile. But it is fun and sometimes a little rough and tumble.”
You can view Ashbaugh’s Facebook post here.