Trump backer charged with assault after being seen on video exhaling twice on protesters
Sterling, Virginia — A man seen forcefully exhaling on two women outside President Trump's Virginia golf course has been charged with assault.
Raymond Deskins, 61, was charged with misdemeanor assault after a private citizen obtained a warrant through a county magistrate, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said Sunday. Deskins didn't immediately return a request for comment from The Associated Press.
The altercation happened Saturday outside Trump National Golf Club, where the president was going to play. Protestors and supporters regularly gather outside the club's entrance when he golfs.
Video widely shared on social media shows Deskins taking a deep breath and then blowing on two unidentified women after one of them asks him to get away and points out that he's not wearing a mask.
"That's assault" one of the women says afterwards.
"I breathed on you," Deskins replies, then exhales on them again.
An anti-Trump demonstrator who was there, Kathy Beynette, told CBS News Deskins crossed the street to where the Trump protesters were gathered while both groups waited for the president to arrive.
Virginia mandates that masks be worn in certain locations to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but they're not required to be worn outside.
Deskin was wearing a Trump shirt and an inflatable pool tube with Trump's likeness on it around his waist, with the words "Keep America Great" on it.
Several members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to law enforcement authorities Sunday asking for a full investigation. The letter said the two women had been protesting the president outside the golf club.
The sheriff's office said the altercation was investigated at the scene but wasn't witnessed by law enforcement and the video didn't capture its entirety. The sheriff's office said it advised the two parties who said they'd been assaulted that they could seek a warrant through a county magistrate.
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