A man whom Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Allen West admitted to pulling down his mask at an airport during an altercation has said that he wishes to press charges, claiming his face covering was "violently" torn off, according to a Dallas Morning News report.
Lawrence Eric Stern told the outlet that a detective at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had informed him that his case had been placed before the Grapevine Municipal Court.
According to the airport police's report, Stern was in the airport on Nov. 3 when he spotted West walking through the facility maskless, the Morning News reports. The Transportation Security Administration has made masking mandatory for anyone in airports across the United States through at least Jan. 18.
Stern reportedly told West to put a mask on and called West an "idiot," according to the report, and when West told Stern to repeat what he said, Stern did.
“Mr. Stern stated Mr. West then hit Mr. Stern on the right side of the face as he grabbed the mask off Mr. Stern’s face,” an officer wrote in the police report, according to the Morning News, “Mr. Stern stated he shoved Mr. West back to get him away from him.”
West has said that Stern lifted his arms in a fighting stance following the incident, but Stern denies these claims and told the Morning News that West called him a "stupid, white man" before walking away.
West's campaign previously stated that "left-wing activists have brazenly badgered and assaulted conservatives and perceived heretics of the COVID orthodoxy and liberal dogma since the beginning of the Trump administration and onward" and added that he will "not cave to bullying by progressive political punks."
West described the incident shorty after it occurred on his twitter account.
He put up his fists and I walked away. I did call him a stupid man. I have spoken to DFW PD.— Allen West (@AllenWest) November 3, 2021
There’s no mask law, nothing has ever passed in the US House and Senate making wearing a mask law.
The police report, as described by the Morning News, is being alleged as a Class C misdemeanor, which typically result in fines, not any jail time.
Stern told police he was not hurt and said that he only recognized West after he called him an "idiot," though he has no regrets over the interaction, according to the Morning News.
“I called him out, basically, because he was breaking the law already,” Stern told the Morning News. “All of the other 10,000 people I saw that day were complying.”
West told authorities he would cooperate with the investigation, according to the Morning News.
West, a former congressman from Florida and former chairman of the Texas GOP, announced in July that he would run a primary challenge against Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottAlaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate Abbott, other Texas Republicans urge court to reverse ruling on voter fraud prosecutions O'Rourke 'not interested' in campaign help from politicians outside Texas MORE (R).