At a recent campaign event in Iowa, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign vehicle was reportedly hit by a couple of left-wing demonstrators who had previously protested against Ramaswamy.
Before the incident, a small group of protesters had gathered outside the campaign event, expressing their opposition to the presidential candidate’s stance on Ukraine, as seen in a clip posted to X.
Here Vivek engages with protesters during that same stop. pic.twitter.com/cinphRxGMw
— Katelyn Caralle (@Katelyn_Caralle) October 5, 2023
Ramaswamy, known for his conservative stance, engaged in what he described as a “civil exchange” with the demonstrators. However, he said things took an unexpected turn when two of the protestors, in their twenties, entered their car and collided with Ramaswamy’s parked campaign vehicle.
Ramaswamy promptly took to social media, stating, “I believe in free speech, especially for those who disagree with me. Violence is never the answer. We will always hold ourselves to a higher standard than the other side.”
I believe in free speech, especially for those who disagree with me. Violence is never the answer. We will always hold ourselves to a higher standard than the other side. https://t.co/mWm16yBrOJ
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) October 5, 2023
Per Fox News, the Grinnell Police Department responded to the scene following a call about a “property damage incident.” While Ramaswamy’s campaign could not definitively confirm whether the collision was intentional, they denounced it as “unAmerican and unacceptable.” Ramaswamy himself labeled it as an example of “violence.”
However, the Grinnell Police Department countered these claims on social media, stating that there was “no evidence” linking left-wing protesters to the collision or any intention to crash into the campaign vehicle intentionally.
According to the police report, Celia Meagher, a 22-year-old resident of Grinnell, accidentally backed her 2007 Honda Civic into the parked 2023 Ford Expedition, causing minor damage to both vehicles.
“Meagher stated she was not in the area to protest, she did not know who the vehicle she struck belonged to, she did not intentionally back into the vehicle, and she did not flee the scene of the accident,” police stated in a news release.
According to them, Meagher was issued a traffic summons for unsafe backing, and the incident appeared to be an unfortunate accident rather than an act of political aggression.
Despite conflicting accounts, Ramaswamy’s campaign spokesperson, Tricia McLaughlin, remained confident in their initial version of events as a video shared on social media by his campaign depicted the person involved in the collision honking once and throwing a middle finger out the window before reversing and ramming into the campaign’s vehicle. According to McLaughlin, the protestors also yelled profanities at them.
Here are the protestors flicking us off as they laid on the horn and yelled “fu** you,” among other profanities, before reverse-ramming their car into ours. The police never contacted us about the statement. https://t.co/CFsatVY5FO pic.twitter.com/bmBVGDT3Ug
— Tricia McLaughlin (@TriciaOhio) October 6, 2023
Amid the conflicting version of events, the police department has encouraged anyone with additional information to come forward.