Was Baked Alaska Bodyguard’s Stabbing a Hate Crime? Police Say No; Accounts Differ

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Tim Gionet, left, a Trump supporter and social media strategist known by the name Baked Alaska, films Nazmun Nahar, a student at the University of Michigan who came to Los Angeles with friends for spring break, as they argue outside the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, California, on February 26. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

The alt-right figure Baked Alaska’s bodyguard was reportedly stabbed several times Saturday after a fight with two men in Santa Monica, California, police told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday. Two men have been arrested on charges of attempted murder.

While police have said they don’t consider the crime to be motivated by politics or race, Tim Gionet—better known to his more than 174,000 Twitter followers as Baked Alaska—claimed Monday his bodyguard was targeted for attack after leaving a bar following an event for President Donald Trump and was called “white boy & cracker” during the alleged assault. He said the bodyguard, Antonio Freeman, was stabbed a total of nine times.

Freeman is reportedly at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Gionet told the Times the alleged racially charged comments were uttered either before or during the attack.

Formerly an employee for BuzzFeed and manager of conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’s college tour, Gionet also claimed that a Los Angeles Police detective told him the last thing Freeman heard before blacking out following his attack was, “You’re getting the shank white boy.”

A Santa Monica police spokesman, Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez, told the Times that the stabbing occurred as Freeman and the two suspects, Edgar Khodzhasaryan, 30, and Arsen Bekverdyan, 31, were at a parking structure. The two suspects were attempting to find an attendant to help them with the parking gate, and Rodriguez said Freeman made a comment that led to an argument.

“There’s nothing here that would lead us to believe it was targeted or a hate crime or anything like that,” Rodriguez told the Times.

The case is now in the hands the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and Khodzhasaryan and Bekverdyan are currently being held on bail set at $1 million each. Charges have not yet been filed.

The veracity of Gionet’s claim was called into question by Twitter users, including fellow social media personality Tariq Nasheed.

At WeSearchr, a site devoted to funding the answering of questions and not necessarily charity causes, a bounty was started to help Freeman pay for his medical bills. Thus far, more than $7,200 from 160 contributors had been raised of the $125,000 goal.

The bounty also gave more details about the attack and Freeman’s recovery. It claims Freeman is a member of the Oath Keepers, a group that often provides security at pro-Trump events, and that he required a 12-hour surgery and another operation may be needed.

Claiming the suspects are Armenian, the bounty also states that violence against Trump supporters and whites is increasing around the country.

“Anti-Trump and anti-white violence is escalating in the United States of America,” it reads. “From eggs, to fists, to bike locks, and now knives, everyday Trump supporters seem to be in real danger in their own country.”

The claim of violence comes nearly a week after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was one of four victims shot by gunman James T. Hodgkinson at a congressional baseball practice. While the investigation is ongoing and no exact motive has been provided by law enforcement officials, it’s been speculated that Hodgkinson, who was a volunteer for Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign last year, is believed to have carried out the attack for political reasons, due to his social media posts and words defaming Trump, as detailed by the New York Daily News.