Man accused of attacking Rubio staffer, but police account differs from senator’s
Police arrested a 22-year-old man accused of attacking a canvasser handing out political flyers on Sunday evening in Hialeah.
According to the police report, the victim was distributing flyers at about 6:30 p.m. at East 60th Street and First Avenue when Javier Lopez attacked him.
The victim was campaigning for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running for reelection against Democratic Rep. Val Demings, the former police chief of Orlando.
“Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a (DeSantis) hat was brutally attacked by (four) animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their (Hialeah) neighborhood,” Rubio tweeted late Monday morning. “He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery.”
But a Hialeah police arrest report obtained by Local 10 News makes no mention of any additional attackers or any stated political motivation.
(Scroll down to read the full report.)
The report mentions an unidentified individual who appears to have intervened in the attack, but police wrote that that person attacked Lopez, rather than the victim.
When asked by Local 10 News if police believed the attack was politically motivated, Sgt. Jose Torres, a Hialeah Police Department spokesperson, said the agency would “allow the investigation to reveal that,” but, as of Monday afternoon, there was “no indication that is the case.”
According to the report, police in the city, a well-known Republican stronghold, said Lopez confronted the canvasser as he walked in front of his house and said “you can’t pass by here, this is my neighborhood.”
He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery pic.twitter.com/36QpbySg58
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 24, 2022
The victim had crossed the street to avoid Lopez, the report states.
According to the report, the victim told Lopez that he was campaigning on public property and could be there if he wanted to.
Police said after further arguing, Lopez rushed towards the staffer, grabbing him and slamming him to the ground.
Investigators wrote that another person, who left the scene before officers arrived, started kicking Lopez in the face.
Police said Lopez then started punching the canvasser multiple times, causing “severe swelling” on the right side of his face, causing the victim’s right eye to be “completely shut” from the damage and causing “severe swelling and bleeding” from his mouth.
Hialeah Fire Department crews responded to treat the victim, the report states.
Police took Lopez to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on an aggravated battery charge.
While police didn’t identify the victim, Local 10 News has learned that he is Christopher Monzon.
Monzon has been in the news before.
Back in 2017, the then-22-year-old was arrested at a protest in Hollywood ahead of a city commission meeting over whether to change the name of streets honoring Confederate leaders.
Police accused Monzon, a counter-protester who was wearing a shirt that said “League of the South,” of jabbing a flag, containing a Confederate design, at people.
At the time, he faced charges of aggravated assault, inciting a riot and disorderly conduct.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors domestic extremism, the League of the South is a “neo-Confederate” hate group.
Monzon, who remained hospitalized, initially agreed to an interview with Local 10 News but changed his mind.
He has spoken publicly about his past support of white nationalism, but said he changed his ways.
Local 10 News has reached out to the Rubio campaign for comment.
Read the full arrest report: