Rubio sees parallels between canvasser injured in Hialeah, assault at Pelosi home

Sen Marco Rubio defended the canvasser who had been tied with white-nationalist groups adding that he should not have been attacked or shamed after being the victim of a crime.

MIAMI – Sen. Marco Rubio said Christopher Monzon, the victim of a recent alleged politically-motivated attack, has changed his ways.

Monzon, a then member of the white supremacist League of the South, used a Confederate flag to attack protesters in 2017 in Hollywood.

“I think he has rejected all of those things and that’s what we want people who have those views to do, to change their minds and reject it and walk away from it,” Rubio said Friday during a news conference.

Monzon was distributing Rubio’s reelection campaign flyers when Javier Lopez and Jonathan Casanova attacked him on Oct. 23 in Hialeah, according to the Hialeah Police Department.

“He had a Ron DeSantis hat, a Marco Rubio shirt, and the people who attacked him knew nothing about him, other than that,” Rubio said about Monzon, the vice president of the Miami Springs Republican Club and a former Hialeah City Council candidate.

Rubio found parallels between Monzon’s battery and the attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi on Friday morning in San Francisco, California.

“We don’t know the motive, but he was attacked at his home. If it was politically motivated, it’s a crime I condemn it. If it wasn’t politically motivated is a crime and I condemn it,” Rubio told reporters.

Detectives identified Paul Pelosi’s attacker as David DePape, 42, who believed in QAnon conspiracy theories and is a supporter of former President Donald Trump, who plans to be in Miami-Dade to campaign for Rubio.

“He just recently was arrested; I am not bringing that up. Does he deserve to be beaten in his home because he has a previous arrest a few months ago? No, he doesn’t. It’s a crime,” Rubio said adding reporters should not be “shaming the victim of a crime.”

Paul Pelosi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence charges after a crash in May in California’s wine country. He was sentenced to five days in jail and three years of probation.

Rubio is running against Rep. Val Demings, the former Orlando Police Chief. He described Lopez and Casanova as “career criminals” and “thugs.”

DePape is facing charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and elder abuse in San Francisco. Lopez, who violated his probation, and Casanova are both facing charges of aggravated battery in Miami-Dade.

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The husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten with a hammer by an assailant who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, searching for the Democratic leader and shouting, “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?” (AP)

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About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.