A Virginia man seen in an online video forcefully blowing in the faces of two protesters outside the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling has been charged with assault, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff ‘s Office.
Raymond Deskins, 61, was arrested Sunday for misdemeanor simple assault after a person obtained a warrant via the Loudoun County Magistrate, authorities said in a statement posted online.
He has since been released on a summons, according to the department.
Trump supporter forcefully exhaling without a mask on a protester outside the Trump National Golf Club, Nov. 21, 2020 pic.twitter.com/Bq2mMH1At0
— Douglas Christian (@DougChristianDC) November 21, 2020
The incident unfolded outside the Virginia golf course Saturday where officials say President Donald Trump was playing at the time, the Associated Press reported. A video circulating online shows Deskins, wearing a “Make America Great Again” T-shirt and water inflatable, forcefully breathing on the women after they repeatedly ask him to back away.
“I breathed on you,” Deskins says before blowing another puff of air in their direction. “Now call the cops and they can come get you.”
One of the protesters, Kathy Beynette, told WRC-TV she’s afraid the incident put them at risk of catching COVID-19.
“We’re both senior citizens, both close to 70 years old, which puts us in a high-risk category,” she told the TV station. “Because of this guy, my family has had to cancel the small Thanksgiving that we had planned with just a few people because I said I might’ve been exposed.”
Protesters have gathered recently outside the Trump National Golf Club, where the president has been spending more time since his projected loss to President-elect Joe Biden, WUSA9 reported. The AP called the race on Nov. 7 for the former vice president, but the president and his campaign have refused to concede.
Biden, with a 6 million popular vote lead, is projected by the Associated Press to have won 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232. The threshold to win is 270.
Local leaders including Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall had previously called for a full investigation into the incident, citing the ongoing pandemic in a letter to the sheriff and commonwealth attorney.
“We are in a hundred-year, highly-contagious, worldwide pandemic of a deadly virus that has killed more than 250,000 Americans,” the letter read in part. “Willfully coughing in someone’s face is clearly dangerous.”