A Wisconsin man visiting Half Moon Bay on Monday overturned a table bearing political messages – including a poster that likened President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler – that had been set up at Mac Dutra Park by supporters of Lyndon LaRouche.
The 36-year-old man reportedly walked up to the LaRouche supporters around 5 p.m. as they were packing up for the day. He began yelling something at the LaRouche supporters, and then he lifted up their plastic folding table and flipped it over, according to witnesses. The man then picked up one of the Obama sandwich boards and threw in onto the ground.
The man reportedly chased one of the LaRouche supporters across the street as the victim tried to call the police for help. Bystanders detained him until San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene.
One of the LaRouche supporters, a 78-year-old from San Francisco, was hit on the head by the plastic table when it was flipped, and he suffered an abrasion. He has pressed assault charges against his attacker.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies questioned the suspect, and he admitted the attack, according to Sheriff’s officials. He reportedly told deputies he was enraged over the Obama image. He was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges. The Review does not normally name people arrested for misdemeanors.
Supporters of eight-time presidential candidate LaRouche have occasionally set up shop on Main Street and elsewhere on the coast to hand out flyers and materials. The political station had become a regular source of complaints to city officials and the Sheriff’s Office, particularly for its controversial pictures showing Obama with a Hitler mustache.
One of the LaRouche campaigners in Half Moon Bay, a man who declined to be named, said he was accustomed to nasty stares, obscenities or minor vandalism from people offended by his political beliefs.
“But this is battery. We’ve never seen this happen,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything happen to this extent.”