The man who is accused of deliberately driving his van into a tent where voters were being registered by local Republicans told the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office his disapproval of President Donald Trump was a motivating factor, according to an unredacted arrest report obtained by News4Jax.
Gregory Timm, 27, was arrested hours after police said his van plowed through the tent, narrowly missing volunteers who were set up the parking lot of a Walmart Superstore at the corner of Atlantic and Kernan boulevards about 3:50 p.m. on Saturday. He’s accused of two counts of aggravated assault on a person over 65 years old, criminal mischief and driving without a license.
According to JSO investigators who tracked him down, Timm admitted to purposefully driving into the tent because “someone had to take a stand.”
Timm told investigators he saw the registration tent after he went to pick up food and cigarettes at Walmart, according to JSO.
He then showed investigators a video he recorded while driving towards the tent, according to JSO, but the video cut out before he hit the tent. According to the report, Timm said he was upset that the video ended before “the good part.”
The suspect told investigators he does not like President Trump and that was part of the reason he wanted to run over the tent, according to the arrest report.
While JSO didn’t immediately say if the action was politically motivated, the incident was quickly condemned as a political attack by both Republican and Democratic leaders in Jacksonville, Florida’s two U.S. Senators, and even President Donald Trump.
While police waited several days to confirm the attack was politically motivated, Republicans on Saturday excoriated Timm over his actions. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and called the attack “politically motivated,” while governor Rick Scott said the Duval County GOP would “will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state!”
“We are outraged. This is not who we are. This is un-American,” Duval County Republican Party Chair Dean Black said at a press conference on Monday. “We are thankful that no one was injured; no one was killed.”