FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A 19-year-old Somerset County teen has been accused of attacking an 81-year-old grocery shopper on Monday for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Ryan M. Salvango of Franklin Township was charged with assault and harassment.
At around 3:24 p.m., the Franklin Township Police Department received a call reporting a dispute at a grocery store on Elizabeth Avenue, Robertson said.
Upon arrival, officers found the victim suffering from minor injuries. He indicated that after purchasing his groceries and exiting the store, he was allegedly confronted by Salvagno, regarding his “Make America Great Again” hat, Robertson said.
A brief verbal confrontation ensued, after which the victim attempted to leave the area. As the victim turned to walk away, Salvagno was able to grab the victim’s hat and the two struggled for sole possession of the hat, Robertson said.
Salvagno then took the victim by the arm and threw him to the ground, tipping over the victim’s cart of groceries and ultimately throwing the hat to the side, Robertson said.
Salvagno is scheduled for arraignment on March 14 in Franklin Township Municipal Court.