NJ man, 19, charged in attack of elderly man wearing MAGA hat


Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Richard Grammar announced the arrest of Ryan M. Salvagno, age 19 of Amwell Road, Somerset, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Monday, February 25, 2019, at approximately 3:24 PM the Franklin Township Police Department received a call reporting a dispute at a grocery store on Elizabeth Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found the 81-year old victim suffering from minor injuries. He indicated that after purchasing his groceries and exiting the store, he was confronted by a male, later identified as defendant Salvagno, regarding his “Make America Great Again” hat. A brief verbal confrontation ensued, after which the victim attempted to leave the area. As the victim turned to walk away, defendant Salvagno was able to grab the victim’s hat and the two struggled for sole possession of the hat. Salvagno then took the victim by the arm and threw him to the ground, tipping over the victim’s cart of groceries and ultimately throwing the hat to the side.

After conducting an investigation, law enforcement officers were able to positively identify defendant Salvagno as the person who confronted the victim. Charges of assault, a disorderly person’s offense and harassment, a petty disorderly person’s offense were filed in the Franklin Township Municipal Court. Defendant Salvagno is scheduled for arraignment on March 14, 2019.