Retired NYPD detective Daniel Sprague was celebrating his 50th birthday in Nashville last weekend when he was punched in the face by a woman angered at what she believed was a MAGA hat on his head.
Sprague was left bleeding after the incident which occured at a bar in the city, with bouncers ejecting the pair before he could explain his innocence.
The red hat read “Make Fifty Great Again”, a subtle change to “Make America Great Again” that was lost on some.
“I was outside with my friends when someone grabbed me from behind, spun me around and punched me in the face,” Sprague told the New York Post.
“At first I thought it was a friend until I got hit. I couldn’t believe someone could get that upset…All night people were giving me thumbs up, smiles or some showing rage, until they walked up close and saw what hat said,” he recalled. “Then they would wish me a happy birthday.”
Sprague, who was shocked at the hostility of some on the night, told the New York Post he loves Trump, “but I wouldn’t hit someone who had a Bernie hat on.”
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I wasn’t an Obama fan but if he walked into a place where I was, I would show him and the office respect.”
Sprague is now waiting to hear back from the police in Nashville as they conduct an investigation into the assault.
The incident follows a van driver crashing into a tent full of Donald Trump supporters and volunteers in Florida on Saturday where they were registering voters for the upcoming primaries. One elderly person was injured.
After being arrested, driver Gregory Timm (27) told police of his dislike for President Trump and that “someone had to take a stand”.