A Keys man was jailed Tuesday after police said he clobbered a 62-year-old man who didn’t agree with his positive review of President Donald Trump.
Joseph Thomas Hopp, 57, of Big Pine Key, was arrested on a charge of felony battery and taken to the Stock Island Detention Center. He said he is the one who was punched first and wants to pursue charges.
There were no witnesses other than the two men involved.
Hopp is accused of punching John Nazzaro twice in the face and throwing him to the ground at about 10 a.m. Aug. 1, before taking off on his bicycle.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Nazzaro suffered a separated shoulder, along with a bloody face and broken nose, Monroe sheriff’s deputies said. He was taken to Fishermen’s Community Hospital.
Nazzaro told deputies he ran into Hopp, an acquaintance, at the corner of Buttonwood Drive and Cypress Drive on Big Pine while walking his dog. Hopp was on a bicycle.
The two began talking about local properties listed for sale, since Nazzaro is a real estate agent, and Hopp said, “We have a good man in office now, we have Trump in office,” according to the arrest report.
Nazzaro replied, “I don’ t think that’s going to make a difference and I don’t think he’s going to last any longer.”
That’s when Hopp responded by getting off his bike, calling Nazzaro a “delusional person,” and grabbing Nazzaro by the front of his shirt, deputies said.
Nazzaro said he was punched twice in the face and that he punched Hopp once in the nose.
Hopp was tracked down later in the day and told police he did praise Trump to Nazzaro, who he said responded by saying, “Trump is going down today,” and “F--- Trump.”
Hopp, who told deputies he didn’t believe Nazzaro was threatening the president but only referring to politics, said he replied, “F--- you,” and Nazzaro struck him on his bike helmet.
Monroe Deputy Jenna Moeller said she arrested Hopp on a battery charge due to his leaving the scene, not reporting the incident and his story not explaining all of Nazzaro’s injuries.