Two Marine reservists testified Dec. 13 in a Philadelphia courtroom about an incident a month prior in which they were reportedly maced, beat up and robbed by a group of 10 to 12 people with alleged ties to antifa, the left-leaning, oftentimes violent, groups who proclaim to be vehemently anti-racist.
Visiting Philadelphia on Nov. 17 with their Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst, New Jersey, unit for an event at a nearby hotel, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres decided to do a little sightseeing of the historic city, according to Philadelphia magazine.
But unbeknownst to the Marines, a controversial “We the People Rally” was kicking off nearby, attracting a small alt-right crowd — with a much larger group, Tom Keenan and Thomas Massey included, of counterprotestors flooding the scene near Independence Hall, the magazine described.
Spotting the two visitors, not in uniform at the time, Keenan approached and asked, “Are you proud?" according to the Marines' testimonies.
“We are Marines,” Godinez claims to have responded, inevitably confused.
Keenan persisted with his gauche interrogation techniques. “Are you Proud Boys?" he allegedly asked, referencing one of the far right groups leading the rally.
“I didn’t know what Proud Boys meant,” Torres told the judge.
Godinez and Torres testified that immediately after the short exchange, about a dozen people — including Keenan and Massey — attacked the two Marines, punching and kicking them, spraying them with mace and calling them “Nazis.”
“I’m Mexican!” a “bewildered” Godinez said he shouted while being attacked and called a “white supremacist.”
With that newly-discovered ethnic information, Keenan and other members reportedly shifted to racial insults, calling Godinez “spic” and “wetback,” the Marine told the judge.
Imagine the Everest-like mountain of idiocy one must scale to accuse a person of being a racist, only to then transition to accosting that same person with a barrage of racial slurs moments after learning of his Mexican background.
As the group allegedly chanted “F--k him up," Godinez was maced at least six times, stomped, kicked in the side and hit in the head, he told the judge.
“The best way I can describe it is the sound of people chanting in a soccer stadium,” Godinez testified, adding that Keenan was “laughing, smiling, and having a good time, while I could have died that day.”
Torres, meanwhile, said he was holding his hands up near his head to protect himself while Massey struck him repeatedly with “full force.”
“We were outnumbered,” Gordinez said in a statement obtained by Philadelphia magazine. There were “two Marines against 10 to 12 assailants.”
When the attack finally subsided, Gordinez said he tried to dial 911, but was unable to see his phone’s display due to being maced.
Eventually, Torres was able to call the police and the two were transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries. Godinez testified that he is still dealing with the injuries he sustained during the attack and may require surgery.
At one point during the proceedings, Keenan’s attorney referred to the incident simply as a “tussle,” the report said.
The judge, however, was hearing none of it.
“This isn’t like kids at a playground,” he said.
At the conclusion of the Marines' testimonies, the judge ruled that Keenan and Massey, who have both been linked to antifa on websites and social media, would stand trial for felony charges of aggravated assault and conspiracy.
Keenan also faces an ethnic intimidation felony charge.
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.