A man who attacked a Republican congressional candidate with a knife reportedly was cursing about President Trump in the moments before the incident, police say.
The suspect, identified as Farzad Vincent Fazeli (pictured above, with his current mugshot on the right), attacked Rudy Peters, the Republican candidate for the 15th Congressional House District, at a town festival in Castro Valley on Sunday.
According to police, Fazeli was screaming “F*** Trump” as he approached Peters, who was greeting attendees at a festival booth. Peters has voiced his support of the President, and has even used his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Fazeli appears to have taken exception to that, sending a stream of profanities at Peters, then suddenly throwing a coffee cup at him and rushing him.
The two began to tussle, going to the ground before Fazeli pulled a switchblade. Police say Fazeli tried to stab Peters with the knife, but the switchblade malfunctioned and the blade never opened.
Peters was able to partially defend himself with one of his own campaign signs.
Alameda County prosecutors arrested Fazeli yesterday, charging him with a felony count of making criminal threats and misdemeanor counts of exhibiting a deadly weapon and possessing a switchblade.
Peters was not seriously injured in the scuffle.
Sheriff’s deputies responded at about 3:45 p.m. to a report of a possible knife attack at the festival on Castro Valley Boulevard. According to officials, witnesses told deputies that Fazeli approached Peters in an “aggressive manner” at his booth, and made “disparaging remarks” about the GOP and “elected officials.”
“All of a sudden we hear someone screaming, “F— Trump, f— Trump!” Peters recalled. He said the man raised his middle finger and was “standing right in front of the booth.”
Peters had been sitting with Joseph Grcar, a Republican state Assembly candidate. He said they were both “kind of shocked” by the outburst, but that the man seemed like he was walking off. “The next thing you know,” Peters said, “he stops and turns around and says, ‘I’ll show you,’ and runs at the booth.”
Peters, a Navy veteran, is campaigning in a largely Democratic district, and is advocating for increased security in schools and a repeal of the state’s gas tax.
Peters said the man grabbed a coffee cup from the table and threw it at him, prompting Peters to come around the table and “grab him.” Peters said he threw him to the ground before the suspect hopped back up, reached into his pocket and grabbed the switchblade.
“He’s screaming, ‘I’m gonna kill you, motherf—er!’” Peters said. “He had the knife, but the blade wouldn’t shoot out.”
A sheriff’s deputy said in a court affidavit that Fazeli threatened to use the pink switchblade on Peters but “could not open it.”
Peters said he grabbed a sign from a nearby cupcake booth and braced to use it as a shield. Someone stepped in and urged the attacker to calm down, Peters said, before he left the booth.
Fazeli, who reportedly works as a Costco security guard, was able to leave the event, but was later arrested at a local bank.
The suspect has convictions in Alameda County for burglary and battery, and has shown contempt for President Trump on his social media. In a post on Farzad Faceli’s Facebook page, he criticized Trump after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. One of his profile pictures shows him wearing a “Clinton/Gore” campaign shirt.
Post your thoughts in the comments section below on the arrest of Farzad Fazeli. In addition, share this on social media.