A man was arrested Sunday afternoon after he allegedly tried to stab a Republican congressional candidate at a fall festival in Castro Valley, California.
Witnesses say 35-year-old Farzad Fazeli walked up to a large booth where GOP candidate Rudy Peters was sitting and began to scream obscenities about President Trump, the GOP, and elected officials.
“All of a sudden we hear someone screaming, ‘F— Trump, f— Trump!’ Peters told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Peters told the Chronicle Fazeli was “standing right in front of the booth” while raising his middle finger and screaming. “The next thing you know. . . he stops and turns around and says, ‘I’ll show you,’ and runs at the booth.”
“He’s screaming, ‘I’ll kill you MFer! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!’ And he’s kind of circling me trying to get the knife out,” Peters told CBS SF Bay Area.
Fazeli then allegedly attempted to stab the candidate with a pink switchblade, but the knife wouldn’t open. Peters grabbed a sign from a nearby cupcake stand to use as a shield, but then another person intervened and urged the alleged attacker to calm down.
Police arrested Fazeli for felony assault, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon, and possession of a switchblade knife, according to CBS.
At a court appearance on Tuesday, Fazeli’s mother and attorney said he was the victim. His mother, Dolly Adams, who did not see the altercation and was seated at the Democratic booth at the fall festival, said her son told her Peters had started the fight.
“My client at this point was afraid for his life and afraid for his health and safety,” Fazelli’s attorney, Frederick Remer, said. “And I believe that it is alleged that he pulls out a folded knife. The knife was never opened.”
Peters’s opponent tweeted on Tuesday that it’s “NEVER okay to use violence to settle political disagreements.”
On Sunday, my opponent @PetersCongress was attacked at his campaign booth in Castro Valley. I’m glad to hear Mr. Peters is okay. But it’s NEVER okay to use violence to settle political disagreements (or any disagreement). Fortunately, @ACSOSheriffs arrested the suspect.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) September 11, 2018