Previously published at Business Insider
A homeless Latino man was allegedly attacked by two Boston brothers, one of whom said he was inspired by Donald Trump, who in turn responded by suggesting people like the assailants “want this country to be great again.”
The Boston Globe reports Scott Leader and Steve Leader, brothers from South Boston, were on their way home from a Boston Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park on Wednesday night when they allegedly ambushed a 58-year-old Latino homeless man as he slept outside a Dorchester MBTA stop.
According to Massachusetts State Police, who arrested the brothers, the attackers punched their victim several times and struck him with a metal pole. The victim said he was awakened by the two men urinating on his face. He said they then ripped away his blanket and rummaged through his belongings.
A witness told police the brothers were laughing as they walked away from the scene of the vicious assault.
The victim was taken to Boston Medical Center with a broken nose, a bruised head and a large bruise on his torso. He is listed in fair condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Police said the victim was targeted because of his race. They said that Scott Leader, 38, told them it was okay to attack the man because he was homeless and Latino.
“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” Leader allegedly told police.
Leader was previously convicted of committing a hate crime after he attacked a Moroccan man in the days after the September 11, 2001 Islamist terrorist attacks against the United States.
WHDH reports the Leaders were arraigned in Dorchester District Court Wednesday for charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery to intimidate with bodily injury, open and gross lewdness, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and threatening to commit a crime. They are being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on September 3.
Donald Trump, who enjoys a commanding lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, responded to news of the brutal attack by suggesting to the Globe that the perpetrators wanted to make America great again, the theme of his campaign.
“It would be a shame…” Trump said, adding that he hadn’t heard about the attack. “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate,” he continued. “They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
Trump has drawn widespread criticism—and praise from many conservatives—for his stridently anti-immigrant pronouncements. In his June campaign kickoff speech, Trump suggested that most Mexican immigrants are criminals, telling an approving audience that “they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Trump also promised to build an impenetrable wall along the entire length of the US-Mexican border and “make Mexico pay for it.”
Trump’s poll numbers soared after his remarks, even as immigrant and Latino advocates accused him of racism and much of Latin America reacted angrily. José Antonio Meade, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, said Trump’s comments displayed “profound ignorance.”