PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- A political dispute turned violent on Pueblo's south side when a supporter of President Donald Trump was allegedly attacked by a masked man.
The masked man, identified by Pueblo Police as Gabriel Perez, 32, can be seen on video getting into an altercation with a Trump supporter who was waving an American flag at the corner of Northern Ave. and Pueblo Boulevard on Friday.
The man who was waving the flag, Fred Haddock, was also wearing a body camera, and video captured the moment when he heard a bang from across the street.
Haddock says Perez was bashing in the windows of his truck with a shovel.
Haddock crosses the street to confront the individual, and that's when the violence escalates. Throughout the profanity-laced video, Perez can be seen trying to grab the American Flag out of Haddock's hands. Haddock said the altercation only got worse from there.
"He tried to stab me with that shovel," said Haddock. "That's when I hit him with that pepper spray to just knock him down. He's lucky I didn't kill him."
Haddock says he was legally armed with a firearm during the altercation, but decided to use pepper spray instead.
"He saw the pepper spray and he still attacked me," said Haddock. "I don't know if he's on drugs or off his rocker or something."
Pueblo Police were called to the scene by onlookers around 4:55 pm Friday, on a report of a fight with weapons. Perez was picked up by officers at a bus stop on Vinewood Lane, not far from where the original altercation occurred. The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital for decontamination after being pepper-sprayed, and then was booked in the Pueblo County Jail.
Police say Perez initially denied involvement in the altercation, but changed his story soon after. Perez is charged with class-4 felony menacing and was also charged for property damages.
"He smashed the windows of both doors, and smashed the back window out," said Haddock.
Haddock says he has been waving the American Flag on dozens of street corners around Pueblo since the Republican National Convention. His goal is to get Republicans in Pueblo energized before election day.
When asked if he might have provoked the altercation, Haddock denies it.
"I was just there," said Haddock. "That seemed to be provocation enough for him. For some reason the (American) flag itself seemed to be enough provocation to him. "