Marco Rubio says second arrest for beating of canvasser with bigoted history supports claims of political motive
A Republican canvasser is attacked.

rubio staffer
It doesn’t, really.

In the wake of a second arrest connected to the brutal attack of a campaign worker, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is decrying local media as “biased” and “irresponsible” for their reporting on the matter.

Rubio on Wednesday posted images to Twitter of an arrest report of 26-year-old Jonathan Alexander Casanova, who Hialeah police say joined another man, 25-year-old Javier Lopez, in the beating of canvasser (and well-documented racist) Christopher Monzon.

(L-R) Police arrested Jonathan Casanova and Javier Lopez in connection with a brutal attack on Republican canvasser (and well-documented bigot) Christopher Monzon. Images via Miami-Dade Department of Corrections.

“Local media spent 2 days treating the GOP canvasser who was attacked as a criminal & denying the attack was politically motivated,” Rubio wrote. “Now a second arrest, a police report & surveillance video show how biased & irresponsible the narrative they were pushing was.”

Indeed, the new arrest report details a merciless act of violence by at least two men and a pair of German Shepherds police say Casanova sicced on Monzon. It also cites sworn testimony Monzon gave claiming the attack followed warnings by Casanova that he could not pass through a public area because the victim “was Republican.”

The arrest report notes “surveillance from the area corroborated the victims (sic) sequence of events.” It did not say, however, that the surveillance footage included audio of any verbal exchange confirming the attacks were politically motivated.

While Miami-Dade County at large is historically Democratic-leaning, the city of Hialeah and its Cuban-majority population is overwhelmingly Republican. In the 2020 General Election, Hialeah voters sided with former President Donald Trump at a rate of 70% or greater across every precinct in the city. Further, neither alleged assailant appears to have been politically engaged prior to the incident.

Lopez’s mother told the Miami Herald her son “doesn’t know anything about politics” and “has never voted.”

A search of Casanova’s name and birth date on the Florida Department of State’s voter information lookup page yielded no results.

But both men have criminal records. Lopez previously faced charges of aggravated assault and burglary. He was on probation at the time of his arrest Monday and remains in custody.

Casanova, meanwhile, has been arrested multiple times, most recently for armed robbery in 2016. An arrest report from that time said Casanova was part of a Hialeah gang called 24th Avenue. He was released on a $7,500 bond, according to Miami-Dade Department of Corrections records.

Monzon boasts a far shorter criminal record and a comparatively lengthy history of bigotry and racially motivated activism.

He suffered numerous facial fractures as a result of the attack, the arrest report said. Rubio said he’ll need facial reconstructive surgery.

Monzon’s digital trail of racist, sexist and antisemitic posts, which sometimes saw him writing under the alias “Christopher Cedeno.” His public activism and openly discriminatory rhetoric, combined with his ethnic heritage, also earned him another nickname: “the Cuban Clayton Bigsby,” a reference to the paradoxical Dave Chappelle character.

He participated in the 2017 “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville, where joined nationalist protesters in chanting “Jews will not replace us.” One of the participants ultimately drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Days after, Monzon was arrested in Hollywood for trying to use a Confederate flag to spear anti-racist demonstrators. He pleaded no contest and was placed on probation.

Monzon, who made a failed bid for the Hialeah City Council last year, participated in other demonstrations as a member of the White nationalist group League of the South. He claimed last year to be on a path of “de-radicalization,” part of which included leaving the group. He admitted to maintaining ties with some of its members.

However, when members of the media tried to interview him in the hospital after the attack this week, they were prevented from doing so by members of the far-right “Western chauvinist” Proud Boys group, including Gabriel Garcia, who faces federal charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

When Rubio first brought attention to the Sunday attack in a tweet less than a day after it took place, he wrote that “4 animals who told (Monzon) Republicans weren’t allowed” in their Hialeah neighborhood were responsible.

Shortly after, the Hialeah Police Department released an arrest report of Lopez on charges of aggravated battery. The arrest report said one other person was involved, but that that person attacked Lopez, not the victim.

By that time, the online group Miami Against Fascism said it had “high confidence” Monzon was the victim. Vince Mendel, president of the Miami Springs Republican Club, of which Monzon is vice president, confirmed to the Miami New Times that it was Monzon.

Mendel said Monzon was beaten by a group of men, including one heavy-set attacker who caused most of Monzon’s most serious injuries.

Neither Lopez, who is 6 feet and weighs 190 pounds, nor Casanova, who is 5-foot-4 and weighs 145 pounds, matches that description. If Mendel’s account is accurate, further arrests are pending.

Federal finance reports show the Florida Republican Party paid Monzon more than $10,000 between June and September.

This past year, several members of the Proud Boys were confirmed to have joined the Executive Committee of Miami-Dade Republican Party.

When asked in June for his thoughts on the matter, Rubio equivocated by comparing the group’s participation in the GOP with that of far-left ideologues in the Democratic Party.

“When you ask me about the communists and socialists that are part of the local Democratic Party, then we can talk about members of the Republican Party,” he said at the time.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Joe Corsin

    October 26, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Don’t pass out neo nazi propaganda in Miami. Easy as that. Let that be a lesson to you Tom. Don’t be caught in Miami. Whole bar might beat you!😆

    • Mitch Sinclair

      October 26, 2022 at 11:41 pm

      How dare you call DeSantis and Rubio neo-Nazis? You are very much part of the problem in this country.

  • Andrew Sapiro Miami

    October 26, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    stay on this, Mr. Scheckner

    think this story will lead to some very interesting places

    good luck

    • Joe Corsin

      October 26, 2022 at 6:16 pm

      I heard it was more about the guy being in someone’s neighborhood that didn’t want him there. It was a red area if you look on the map but of course there is no such thing as a purely red or blue area. I bet they told the guy to leave because it wasn’t his neighborhood and he got an attitude. I guess we will see.

  • Ye Baby

    October 26, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Finally. The g0y1m know thanks to Canye. Commies and friends will be drawn and quartered very soon.

  • DeSantis

    October 26, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Hopefully the violent criminal lopez gets whacked once he is returned to prison.

  • Nicholas Whitehead

    October 26, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    A Senator who supports The Proud Boys, The Oath Keepers, and various violent Republicans should probably measure his words when the tables get turned occasionally. But then rank hypocrisy is never a surprise from Republicans.

    • Humble Boys

      October 26, 2022 at 9:41 pm

      You haven’t seen violent yet, pinko. Not even close.

  • Peggy

    October 26, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    Marco Rubio is a neo-Nazi.
    Why hasn’t Rubio denounced this Nazi yet?

    Pretty soon he’ll be firing up the gas chambers here!

    • Lol Gas chambers

      October 26, 2022 at 11:48 pm

      German efficiency? They would skip the gas chambers and throw them straight into ovens. Actually, do you know how much energy it takes to cremate the living dead? Nah, couldn’t afford it during war time. They would just turn the corpses into pig and chicken feed. Coming to a tractor supply near you. Just ask for soylentcommie.

    • Tjb

      October 28, 2022 at 9:52 am

      Recently, Rubio would not denounce the Proud Boys in the executive wings of the Miami Dade Republican Club and he hires white supremacist as canvassers.

      Why is Rubio supporting hate groups and it’s members? Who does these hate groups, HATE?

  • Paul Scudder

    October 26, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Can’t we all just get along and stop saying bad about the other person. .Say what you will do for our country. I hate bullies too

  • Jeff Smith

    October 27, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    The author of this article goes out of their way to kiss Marxist ass.

  • X

    October 27, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Good. The left wing extremists belong in jail.

Comments are closed.


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