CASTRO VALLEY — A man who authorities say tried to pull a switchblade on a Republican candidate in California shouted profanities about President Donald Trump and the Republican Party before the assault, the candidate said.
Congressional candidate Rudy Peters said he was at a booth Sunday at the Castro Valley Fall Festival when the man shouted expletives about Trump and raised his middle finger.
Alameda County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Farzad Fazeli, 35, with a felony count of making criminal threats and misdemeanor counts of exhibiting a deadly weapon and possessing a switchblade.
"It's a shame," Peters told the San Francisco Chronicle. "People are just polarized right now, and this country's divided and it's just a mess. It shouldn't be that way."
Peters said the man initially seemed to be walking away from the booth.
"The next thing you know, he stops and turns around and says, 'I'll show you,' and runs at the booth," Peters said.
The man grabbed a coffee cup from the table and threw it at Peters, who says he threw the attacker to the ground.
The man hopped back up and pulled a switchblade from his pocket but couldn't open it, the newspaper reported.
Peters said he grabbed a sign from a nearby cupcake booth and prepared to use it as a shield until someone urged the attacker to calm down.
Fazeli was later arrested at a nearby bank. No one was seriously injured.
A message left Wednesday by The Associated Press on a telephone number listed for Fazeli was not immediately answered. It was unclear if he had a lawyer.
Peters is running for the 15th congressional district seat, which represents Hayward and the surrounding area and eastern Alameda County. He is a supporter of President Trump.
His opponent is incumbent Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from Dublin, who tweeted he was "glad to hear Mr. Peters is okay."
"But it's NEVER okay to use violence to settle political disagreements (or any disagreement)," the tweet continued.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com