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Officers called over ‘pushing match’ after political discord spills into street at Houston polling site

A popular Houston polling place became a battleground Tuesday as dozens of Biden and Trump supporters staked out opposite sides of the street in a liberal enclave, occasionally crossing for several altercations that drew the sheriff, police chief and at least a dozen officers.

On Tuesday afternoon, a white man crossed from the Trump side of the street and approached several Black women holding “Biden-Harris” signs in front of the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center in the Montrose neighborhood.

Joyden ONeil, 20, a freshman at Purdue University who works at Walmart, said she was holding a sign for the Democratic ticket when the man approached her from across the street to decry Joe Biden’s stance on abortion rights.

“He got to tapping and poking people, and then he pushed me,” said Sekeria Frazier, 20, a freshman at Alabama A&M University, who was wearing a T-shirt commemorating George Floyd.

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Thomas Donohoe, 77, a retired industrial electrician from the eastern refinery-town suburb of La Porte, drove in to join the protest after he was alerted by the Houston Trump Train group. He said that after listening to Biden supporters curse, he crossed the street. He was quickly surrounded by Biden supporters and retreated.

Sheriff’s deputies initially approached the man, but he walked away. A police report was taken.

Jose Casares, 32, an Amazon warehouse worker who switched from Democrat to Republican to vote for President Trump in this election, crossed the street carrying a Trump flag to argue face-to-face with Biden supporters. He was escorted back to the other side by police as Biden supporters chanted, “Send him back!”

Casares said he had switched parties because he’s Christian and was inspired by Trump’s opposition to COVID-19 lockdowns that closed churches. “I couldn’t go to church. To me, that’s a spiritual war,” Casares said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo arrived soon after and said the location was the only polling place where opposing groups had staked out territory Tuesday. He called the incident “a pushing match.”


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