Tobian Norris, a 39-year-old sales coach in Lake Worth, Florida, said he didn’t expect to encounter any violence when he went to his polling site on the 2700 block of Lake Worth Road. But a verbal altercation with a Trump supporter outside the site quickly turned physical.
According to Facebook Live video of the incident taken by Norris, a white man wearing denim jeans and a Bikers for Trump shirt was standing on sidewalk outside the polling site shouting and waving Trump / Pence signs, while surrounded by additional Trump signs stuck into the grass and an American flag folding chair.
You can view the video on Norris’s Facebook page. The post contains graphic language.
"He was basically soliciting votes for Donald Trump,” Norris said.
The two men debated the candidates, according to Norris and the Facebook Live video. Norris, who is black, said he voted for Hillary Clinton.
"He said [Trump] can run this country a lot better than Hillary," Norris said. "I said based on what? He said, 'Well, he’s a very fine businessman.' I said, 'Well have you seen his balance sheets from over the last 10 years?' I don’t think he even knew what I meant by balance sheet.”
Then Norris asked, "Did you drop out of high school?" The Trump supporter then turned, said “F--- you," and grabbed Norris’s phone. Norris said he punched him in the ribs. The man dropped to one knee and pulled a gun from his pocket, Norris said.
"He pulled a gun out," Norris said. "He called me the N-word." The Trump supporter was arrested but has a concealed carry permit and was not charged for the gun, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.
After the altercation according to the video both men exchanged expletives with each other, with Norris saying, "You’re going to jail, b-tch."
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office public information officer Teri Barbera said deputies arrested the Trump supporter.
"They didn’t agree on the choices of party," Barbera said. "It escalated. It got heated. One male was videotaping the other. Said something derogatory toward him. The second male actually hit the phone out of the first male’s hand ... That individual became angry."
The Trump supporter was charged with simple battery and criminal mischief due to the phone damage. Barbera said she did not yet know the name of the man arrested. According to the sheriff's office, the arrested man had a concealed weapons permit for the weapon and "did not threaten [Norris] with his weapon."
Norris said he respected the man’s right to voice his opinion, but not to touch him.
"If I want to stand out in front of the voting facility and scream at every passerby — vote Trump, the hell to Hillary — that’s my right. As long as I’m not making a disturbance ... I can do that. You can even call me the N-word. You can even do that if you want. But if you touch me ... I disagree with him. But he has a right to have a difference of opinion. That’s why this country is great. It doesn’t need to be made great again. It’s already great," Norris said.
Norris said he "unfortunately" voted for Clinton. "I think I had to. I didn’t really have a choice. Being African-American, I felt like it’s a slap in the face to all my predecessors to not exercise my right to vote."