Candidate involved in violence at St. Augustine polling location

Steven Dial reports. 10/27/2016

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - At precinct 307 in St. Johns County, just for one day the fight wasn't between Clinton and Trump in the voting booth.

The fight was a literal one, involving Merrill Roland, a candidate for the Anastasia Mosquito Commission, and a man he says works for the county's Republican Party.

First Coast News is choosing not to name that person because he has not been charged and police have not released his name.

The altercation sent Roland to the hospital where we spoke with him by phone.

"He was unloading papers that they printed which endorsed my opponent and I asked him if I could speak with him about that,” said Roland.

Roland says he and his opponent are both in the Republican Party.

He claims party rules say they can't endorse a candidate in a non-partisan race.

"He told me I was a f*** a** and spit in my face and punched me many times and he kicked my cane," Roland says. "I have a prosthetic leg and he kicked my cane and he kept punching me in the head and shoulder and knocked me down."

We contacted the man Roland says attacked him both by email and by phone but there was no response.

Roland also has a criminal past. When asked why people should vote for him, this was his response:

"Well because I was found not guilty of those crimes. One of those I was found guilty but I was defending myself."

No charges have been filed in Thursday's scuffle. The case is still under investigation. 

(© 2016 WTLV)


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