Brutally beaten retired Army veteran issues warning to attackers

Richard Ojeda

A decorated combat vet running for West Virginia’s state senate is speaking out from his hospital bed — after being brutally attacked at a campaign event.

Retired field grade Army engineer Richard Ojeda is issuing a warning to his attackers. “I spent years dealing with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, I’m not scared of these people,” he said.

Ojeda was at a campaign event on Sunday when a man just attacked him out of nowhere. While motive has not yet been established in this case, police say, Ojeda believes it was politically motivated. Ojeda says he’s been receiving threatening calls ever since he started running for the District 7 seat.

In a post he shared on Facebook Sunday Ojeda said: “Make no mistake, I am now even more dedicated to the cause.. this doesn’t scare me and I don’t quit…if anyone thinks this will get me to march in line you obviously don’t know me very well.”

Related: Decorated combat vet, a state senate candidate, brutally beaten at event

During this weekend’s meet-and-greet event, suspect Jonathan Porter asked Ojeda for a bumper sticker, then attacked him with brass knuckles — knocking him out.  Ojeda suffered multiple facial fractures and a severe concussion and will need facial reconstructive surgery.

Ojeda is going up against incumbent Senator Art Kirkendoll in Tuesday’s primary. Kirkendoll condemned the attack on social media saying, this type of behavior has “no place in our political campaigns or in our communities….my family’s thoughts and prayers are with my opponent and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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