A man who was admitted to removing his mask at an airport during an altercation by Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West has said he wishes to press charges, alleging that his face was “violently ripped off,” according to a Dallas Morning News report.
Lawrence Eric Stern told the outlet that a detective at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport had informed him that his case had been brought before the Grapevine Municipal Court.
According to the airport police report, Stern was at the airport on Nov. 3 when he saw West walking through the facility without a mask, Morning News reports. The Transportation Security Administration has made masking mandatory for anyone at airports in the United States until at least January 18.
Stern reportedly told West to put on a mask and called West an “idiot,” according to the report, and when West told Stern to repeat what he said, Stern did.
“Mr. Stern said that Mr. West then struck Mr. Stern on the right side of the face while removing the mask from Mr. Stern’s face,” wrote an officer in the police report, according to the Morning News, ” Mr. Stern said he pushed Mr. West back to get away from him. “
West has said that Stern raised his arms in a fighting stance after the incident, but Stern denies these claims, telling the Morning News that West called him a “stupid white man” before walking away.
West’s campaign previously stated that “lEFT wing activists have blatantly harassed and assaulted conservatives and perceived heretics of COVID orthodoxy and liberal dogma from the beginning of the Trump administration onward “adding that they” will not give in to harassment by progressive political punks. ”
West described the incident shortly after it happened on his Twitter account.
He raised his fists and I walked away. I called him a stupid man. I have spoken to DFW PD.
There is no mask law, nothing has ever happened in the United States House of Representatives and Senate to make a mask law.
– Allen West (@AllenWest) November 3, 2021
The police report, as described by the Morning News, is alleged as a Class C misdemeanor, generally resulting in fines, not jail time.
Stern told police he was not injured and said he only recognized West after he called him an “idiot,” though he has no regrets about the interaction, according to the Morning News.
“I called him, basically, because he was already breaking the law,” Stern told the Morning News. “All the other 10,000 people I saw that day were complying.”
West told authorities he would cooperate with the investigation, according to the Morning News.
West, a former Florida congressman and former chairman of the Texas Republican Party, announced in July that he would file a primary challenge against the governor of Texas. Greg abbottGreg AbbottJudge Knocks Down Abbott’s Ban on Mask Mandates in Texas Schools Texas Principal Forced to Resign Amid Critical Controversy Over Racial Theory Greg Abbott Knocks Down Austin on COVID-19 Restrictions for the Veterans Day parade MORE (R).