Samson Racioppi, an Army veteran and former libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress from Massachusetts, was allegedly struck on the back of his neck by a member of Antifa with a bike lock following a protest in front of the Rhode Island State House on Saturday. Alexander Carrion was arrested by Providence police for the violent attack.
After officers ordered individuals at the demonstration were ordered to disperse, Racioppi, escorting two older women for their safety, went to the Providence Place Mall parking garage where his vehicle was located. There, he was approached by a group of masked Antifa members. One he recognized from earlier in the day.
According to Racioppi, “I asked him, what are you going to do? Something I’ve learned over the years is, engage someone verbally while you still have some distance between you. I wanted to find out where his head was at.”
He continued, “Not sure if he responded with a ‘f*** you.’ He might have, but that’s when bike-lock wielding guy came up from behind and clocked me over the head with it. Didn’t see him coming.”
“I did not lose consciousness. In fact, I recovered almost immediately. Don’t know if shock or what, but the area went numb,” said Racioppi. “I immediately got my eyes on the attacker and saw the bike lock. I pointed at the guy and was like, ‘Right there! Don’t let him get away!’”
According to police logs, Alexander Carrion, 34 of Providence, was arrested on the scene for “assault with intent to commit a felony — serious injury, and disorderly conduct. This is not the first time Carrion has been arrested at rallies in Rhode Island. In 2016, he was arrested while demonstrating against then candidate President Donald J. Trump at rally in Warwick. Video showed him spitting in the face of a 19-year-old man.
Video of the arrest of Carrion by Providence PD taken by Rod Webber on Saturday:
A similar incident occurred in 2017 at a Berkeley rally, where a man was struck with a U-Bike Lock. College professor and alleged Antifa member, Eric Clanton, was charged by police for the Berkeley assault after his identity was pieced together on Internet forums. He may face up to 11 years in prison for the assault.
Saturday’s Providence protest was organized by “Ocean State Against Hate,” a progressive and Antifa group in response to a rally organized by “Resist Marxism.” According to published reports and social media posts, approximately 250 Antifa and progressive protesters far outnumbered the smaller group of “Resist Marxism” at the demonstrations.
In a post authored by Ocean State Against Hate on UpriseRI.com, the group describes itself as follows: “We refuse to be fooled, and we will oppose them. In response, a coalition of anti-racist, anti-sexist, pro-LGBTQ, anti-fascist, socialist, labor, and community organizers has formed, calling ourselves ‘Ocean State Against Hate.’ Our purpose is simple and clear: to shut down their event and make it clear that this community defend themselves from hate.”
“Ocean State Against Hate” is working with a partner organization to collect funds to post bail for two progressive Antifa members arrested for violence at their protest. Cori Farrow is the point person for their fundraising campaign. She is asking for money to be deposited directly into her PayPal account.
A new 17 second video has emerged showing the actual attack on Racioppi. It contains graphic content and language.