A man is speaking out after he says he was brutally attacked for his support of President Donald Trump following dueling rallies that took place in Philadelphia over the weekend.
Howard Caplan, 48, told NBC10 he attended a pro-Trump rally in Center City Sunday morning. The group marched from the Constitution Center to Dilworth Plaza. At the same time, an anti-Trump group held a demonstration at People’s Plaza at Independence Mall around 10 a.m., calling for the president’s impeachment.
Police say around 12:30 p.m., several anti-Trump protesters attacked a group of Trump supporters who were trying to enter a Center City bar. Three were arrested after they allegedly injured one of the Trump supporters and attacked a police officer.
Hours after that incident, Caplan was walking to his Northeast Philadelphia home while carrying a “Trump 2020” sign when he was approached by a group of men.
“They never saw the sign when they asked me,” Caplan said. “They said, ‘Hey, what’s on your sign? They already knew. They never even and then, bang.”
Caplan told NBC10 one of the men slammed a bottle on his head while the others began to kick and punch him repeatedly. The attackers then fled to a nearby train station while Caplan chased after them. Caplan says police caught up to the attackers and detectives took his statement. Police told NBC10 they are investigating the incident but haven't announced any charges. They also have not confirmed Caplan's claim that officers captured his attackers.
Caplan suffered several injuries, including a bloody gash on his head and bruises around his eye.
“Six staples to my head,” Caplan said. “Obviously my eye is worse. Scrapes on my leg.”
Caplan, who has publicly bashed Hillary Clinton and shown his support for the controversial “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, is convinced he was targeted because of his political beliefs.
“If they want to beat people up for that, you know it’s the ultimate irony,” Caplan said. “They’re beating people up for their freedom of expression.”
Caplan says he’s still in a good amount of pain but considers himself lucky. He plans to be back out for more demonstrations in the future.