West Virginia Senate candidate Richard Ojeda went to a cookout on Sunday, days before his primary election, and was brutally beaten by a man wearing brass knuckle.
The name of the attacker was Jonathan Porter, a 41-year-old man. He was arrested and charged with malicious assault, attempted malicious assault and felony destruction of property in the Logan County, according to what West Virginia state police spokesman M. T. Baylous told The Washington Post. Mr. Porter was taken to the Southwestern Regional Jail. Online records do not show whether he has an attorney.
According to NBC News, Ojeda says that he remembers being asked by Porter for a bumper sticker for his truck, but does not remember anything else. Porter attacked him right after that. Ojeda knelt to put the sticker on the car and Porter hit Ojeda around nine times with brass knuckles and knocked him out.
West Virginia State Troopers said that Jonathan Porter climbed into his truck, after beating Ojeda, and tried to run over him. It was reported that people in the scene used their own vehicles to block the suspect from hitting the candidate.
Witnesses reported to the police that Porter used brass knuckles, but no evidence of the weapons were found at the scene and Porter denied using them, according to a statement from State Trooper Zachary Holden to NBC News. Holden said Porter turned himself in after hiding out in the woods for six hours.
Ojeda’s currents situation
The 45-year-old Democrat Candidate was taken to a trauma unit. Ojeda’s campaign Facebook page says that Ojeda suffered multiple fractures to his head and face and was transported to a hospital in Charleston.
Although the police do not know the motivation of Porter, Ojeda thinks the man attacked him because of political reasons. On his personal Facebook page, he said that the attack was premeditated, meaning that the man had a reason to do it.
He also says he plans to go back home soon to be ready for Tuesday’s primary election. He will be delaying surgery until later this week.
Ojeda is a military veteran, who has known Porter since childhood. He wrote on his Facebook that he has been threatened before since he had to deal with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
“I have been threatened before, but I never really knew it would come to this,” he wrote.
Ojeda is running against Senator Art Kirkendoll in Tuesday’s primary. His opponent said in a statement that he wishes Ojeda recovers quickly. He also said that he does not condone violence and that it should not be happening in political campaigns or in the communities.
Source: CBS News