Zeldin supporter attacked, choked at Hochul event speaks out: ‘Can’t have debates without it getting violent’

The supporter for GOP gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Lee Zeldin, seen on video allegedly being attacked and choked at a New York City event for Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke out for the first time in an interview with Fox News. 

Angelica Torres, who showed up with an anti-Hochul sign at an event for the Democratic governor outside the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan on Saturday, recalled how an unidentified woman grabbed her sign and threw it. 

When Torres was trying to retrieve her sign, she said an unidentified man, who she described as bigger than her in stature, came up and grabbed her by the neck. Meanwhile, the Zeldin supporter said New York City Councilmember Crystal Hudson was also grabbing her by an arm. 

"I was pretty much defenseless, outnumbered," Torres told Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn. "I was certainly shocked. I was definitely kind of like not expecting that to happen."

NEW YORK GOVERNOR: LEE ZELDIN SUPPORTER ATTACKED AT RALLY FOR GOV. KATHY HOCHUL, VIDEO SHOWS

"You know, we're all very peaceful. And we were just there, just, you know, exercising our First Amendment," the woman added. "And we just wanted our voices to be heard." 

Fox News obtained video of the alleged assault on Torres. 

The New York City Police Department, however, told Fox News that the man seen in the video grabbed Torres by the throat "was actually helping her," Shawn said. 

Fox News has not verified whether or not that man is a Hochul supporter. 

"I felt like my voice was trying to be silenced," Torres told Shawn. "I think it's disgraceful what happened. You know, I think, you know, we're supposed to have a middle ground where we can have agreements and have disagreements, but always be respectful." 

"I hope people understand that things are getting, you know, really bad in like the political field. You know, we can't have civil conversations," Torres said. "We can’t have debates without it getting violent. And I feel like they started to happen with Antifa. And unfortunately, people keep ignoring it like this isn't happening and now it's just going to escalate. And more and more." 

"I was there peacefully. I was there just voicing my opinion. And, you know, I didn't want to hurt anyone," Torres added. "I believe in freedom. And just because, you know, people try to bully me and intimidate me doesn't mean I'm going to change my stance on, you know, my morals and my beliefs." 

Hudson spokesman Alejandro Gonzalez said the councilwoman "attempted to separate" the two people "and, as a result, was forcefully pushed." Gonzalez said Hudson "then removed herself from the situation, contrary to previously alleged accounts. This incident is wholly unacceptable. It’s regrettable to see events built on our love, joy, unity, and shared desire to fulfill our civic responsibility be reduced to single instances of antagonism and poor reactions."

No arrests have been announced in connection to the caught-on-camera incident. 

Zeldin condemned the incident in a statement on Twitter. 

"I have always condemned political violence of any kind, and Kathy Hochul must do the same," Zeldin tweeted on Sunday. "Her continued silence on her supporter choking out a woman simply exercising her First Amendment rights makes her complicit in this attack."


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The supporter for GOP gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Lee Zeldin, seen on video allegedly being attacked and choked at a New York City event for Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke out for the first time in an interview with Fox News. 

Angelica Torres, who showed up with an anti-Hochul sign at an event for the Democratic governor outside the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan on Saturday, recalled how an unidentified woman grabbed her sign and threw it. 

When Torres was trying to retrieve her sign, she said an unidentified man, who she described as bigger than her in stature, came up and grabbed her by the neck. Meanwhile, the Zeldin supporter said New York City Councilmember Crystal Hudson was also grabbing her by an arm. 

"I was pretty much defenseless, outnumbered," Torres told Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn. "I was certainly shocked. I was definitely kind of like not expecting that to happen."

NEW YORK GOVERNOR: LEE ZELDIN SUPPORTER ATTACKED AT RALLY FOR GOV. KATHY HOCHUL, VIDEO SHOWS

"You know, we're all very peaceful. And we were just there, just, you know, exercising our First Amendment," the woman added. "And we just wanted our voices to be heard." 

Fox News obtained video of the alleged assault on Torres. 

The New York City Police Department, however, told Fox News that the man seen in the video grabbed Torres by the throat "was actually helping her," Shawn said. 

Fox News has not verified whether or not that man is a Hochul supporter. 

"I felt like my voice was trying to be silenced," Torres told Shawn. "I think it's disgraceful what happened. You know, I think, you know, we're supposed to have a middle ground where we can have agreements and have disagreements, but always be respectful." 

"I hope people understand that things are getting, you know, really bad in like the political field. You know, we can't have civil conversations," Torres said. "We can’t have debates without it getting violent. And I feel like they started to happen with Antifa. And unfortunately, people keep ignoring it like this isn't happening and now it's just going to escalate. And more and more." 

"I was there peacefully. I was there just voicing my opinion. And, you know, I didn't want to hurt anyone," Torres added. "I believe in freedom. And just because, you know, people try to bully me and intimidate me doesn't mean I'm going to change my stance on, you know, my morals and my beliefs." 

Hudson spokesman Alejandro Gonzalez said the councilwoman "attempted to separate" the two people "and, as a result, was forcefully pushed." Gonzalez said Hudson "then removed herself from the situation, contrary to previously alleged accounts. This incident is wholly unacceptable. It’s regrettable to see events built on our love, joy, unity, and shared desire to fulfill our civic responsibility be reduced to single instances of antagonism and poor reactions."

No arrests have been announced in connection to the caught-on-camera incident. 

Zeldin condemned the incident in a statement on Twitter. 

"I have always condemned political violence of any kind, and Kathy Hochul must do the same," Zeldin tweeted on Sunday. "Her continued silence on her supporter choking out a woman simply exercising her First Amendment rights makes her complicit in this attack."

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