A trans woman at a South Jersey “Stand Against Hate” rally went on to participate in the march Monday, despite having been pepper-sprayed by a man wearing a shirt printed with alt-right imagery the night before.
Morris May, 22, of Scotch Plains, NJ, was charged by Asbury Park police with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon after pepper-spraying Allison Kolarik, a trans woman and march volunteer, while she was making signs for the event, NBC10 reported.
Police said May and a man identified as his brother approached Kolarik and other volunteers and engaged in a verbal argument, allegedly yelling at volunteers, before May allegedly pepper-sprayed her.
May had previously posted a picture of himself wearing the same shirt he was wearing at the time, which reads, “For those about to MAGA, we salute you,” and bearing an image of Pepe the Frog, which has been adopted as a symbol of the alt-right.
He told the Asbury Park Press he “did not attend that meeting to start any trouble.
“I did not go there intending to inflict harm on anyone. I acted only in self-defense,” he said.