Editor's note: This article contains uncensored profanities as quoted by those involved.
Today on the Texas House floor, Rep. Matt Rinaldi was assaulted by Democrats after he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on protesters in the Capitol holding signs that said "I am illegal and here to stay." He posted details on his Facebook page:
Video of the altercation was captured and tweeted out by KVUE, a local ABC affiliate in Austin:
— KVUE News (@KVUE) May 29, 2017
Though the video does not capture much audio from the altercation, you can see that it was rather intense. This is not something that one would typically expect to see in the Texas Legislature. These sorts of shenanigans are typically reserved for the British Parliament.
The Democrats at the center of the scuffle, Rep. Poncho Nevarez and Rep. Ramon Ramero, were incredibly upset at Rep. Rinaldi's desire to enforce the law. They also indicated that his choice of words were offensive. Rep. Ramero told the Texas Tribune, "[Rinaldi] said, 'I called ICE — fuck them.'" Rinaldi then apparently turned to the Democrats and yelled, “Fuck you," to the “point where spit was hitting” their faces. Another Democrat, Rep. César Blanco, said that Rinaldi "came up to us and said, ‘I’m glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported.'”
This foul language upset the Democrat lawmakers to the point where they felt that further breaking the law was justified. Rep. Ramero's assault is a Class C misdemeanor, according to Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(3), and Rep. Nevarez could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for terroristic threat under Texas Penal Code § 22.07(a)(2); the latter of which would disqualify Rep. Nevarez from exercising his 2nd Amendment right to bear arms under Texas' LTC eligibility requirements as per Government Code § 411.172(a)(4).
All of this, of course, is assuming Rep. Rinaldi presses charges. Unfortunately for the Democrats, Rep. Rinaldi's use if the F-word is not a defense of prosecution to the aforementioned criminal acts, nor is it a criminal act in and of itself. Only time will tell what the end of this story will be. Hopefully Rep. Rinaldi will not need DPS protection for much longer.