HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It was an all-out political attack. A Brooksville woman told News Channel 8 that showing her support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump got her hit in the face.
Carol Saleeba was sitting in her doctor’s office in Spring Hill when another patient’s husband saw her Trump buttons. That set him off, Saleeba said.
A confrontation escalated, she said. “He had a newspaper in his hand and he whacked me on the side of the eye,” Saleeba said.
“He come right up like this, and I looked up and he goes, ‘I’m not sitting by you,’” she said. “I went, ‘I don’t care where you sit.’”
Sabella told News Channel 8 the man, Mark Idle, of Spring Hill, then came back over and asked if she wanted him to apologize. “I said, ‘I want you to get away from me. That’s what I want you to do,'” she said.
Saleeba says people need to realize we live in a democracy. “They’re going crazy because they have an opinion and they want you to have the same opinion as them but the last time I checked it was freedom of speech,” she said.
Idle will face a judge later this month. If convicted of this assault charge, he could face a year behind bars.
He admitted he hit Saleeba with a newspaper at the doctor’s office on Medical Boulevard Monday morning. From his home Tuesday night, Idle said that he, “tapped her on the head. It was a very thin, tapped her on the head,” Idle said.
“I wasn’t criticizing her for wearing the Trump badge,” he added. “That’s her right. I respect anybody’s right. I just got incensed by seeing that.”
He said he regretted his actions. “I do. I seriously do. There is remorse in my heart,” Idle said.
Idle also said he’s been offended by a lot of the comments Trump has made. He told News Channel 8 he’s an independent.