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Veteran attacked while holding Trump sign, again, vows: ‘I don’t back down’

Supporters of Donald Trump at a campaign rally with Governor Mike Pence at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Charlie Chase is convinced there’s a guardian angel watching over him as he exercises his First Amendment rights.

That’s because the 82-year-old veteran has survived yet another attack while holding a sign supporting President Trump.

“I felt God or an angel was on my shoulder to get the message out on what America is really about,” Chase told the Herald Monday, a day after he was assaulted while holding a “Veterans for Trump” placard near a church in his hometown city of Fall River.

The suspect fled the scene, but police told Chase and his attorney they are searching for video of the alleged female assailant. In early June, Chase was kicked and had his sign ripped up by a 24-year-old male suspect, police said.

That first alleged assault gave Chase nightmares, he said. But it won’t keep him from campaigning right up to Election Day Nov. 3. And this latest brush with an angry voter won’t stop him either, he vowed.

“The tough ones get even stronger for freedom,” Chase said. “I won’t stop. They were cowards. I don’t back down to cowards.”

Chase said Democrats and Republicans have written to him urging the former teacher to keep on campaigning. But all the anger had this Air Force vet choking back tears Monday.

“Some are trying to destroy the culture of the United States. We live in the best country in the world,” he said. “Common sense needs to be taught in college. The First Amendment is one of the sacred rights we have.

“It sickens me. It tears me to pieces all these violent people,” Chase added. “As a teacher, I ask ‘Why is this being done to kids?’ Are they trying to indoctrinate them?”

His lawyer, Richard Chambers of Lynnfield, said a woman jumped out of a car Sunday while Chase was holding a “Veterans for Trump” and “Blue Lives matter” sign on South Main Street in Fall River across from St. Anne’s Church and near St. Anne’s Hospital.

“If someone on the left had this done to them, it would be a hate crime,” said Chambers, who represents Chase pro bono. “This is an elderly man they’re attacking. These kids should learn right from wrong. Where’s the respect? You shouldn’t be beat up for expressing your rights.”

Chambers texted the Herald later to point out the state’s Dangerous Statute that states: Anyone who commits “assault and battery upon a person sixty years or older by means of a dangerous weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one-half years.”

He added assault can be “physical contact which either harms or creates a substantial likelihood of harm.”

Enough is enough, this attorney added.

Chase said he supports human rights for all and he just wants to show his support for the president.

“Maybe this will help to bring us together,” he said when granting the Herald the right to share his story. “Enough with putting a hyphen on all of us. We’re all Americans. Everyone came here because they love what happens here.”


© 2020 the Boston Herald