Man arrested after confrontation at pro-Palestinian rally appears in court

The man who was arrested after being accused of hitting a counter-protester during a pro-Palestinian rally Sunday afternoon in Riverside made his first court appearance Monday morning.

In court, Abusamour was charged with robbery, improper exhibition of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance after police found a small amount of marijuana on him.

A woman observing the rally said she left before the assault and noticed a woman yelling at the group with a megaphone. According to police, that led to the confrontation.

RELATED: Protester arrested after confrontation with counter-protester at pro-Palestinian rally

Police said Shadi Abusammour took a megaphone from the woman, hit her in the head with it, and threw the megaphone in the river. Police said he also showed a gun in his waistband.

After he threw the megaphone into the river, police said Abusammour took off running but was later caught by an undercover officer and was held at gunpoint.

The report said before the arrest, another man — a protest monitor — and a woman were running after Abusamour. It didn’t identify the other woman. It appears she was the unnamed victim. The monitor told police he was chasing after them to keep the event from escalating.

News4JAX reached out to the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity network but they didn’t want to comment.

The Director of Community Security for the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida said he wasn’t fully informed of what happened at the park, but he did say they advised members not to engage the opposite side at any demonstration and to avoid confrontation.

Abusammour’s next court date is set for Feb. 13.

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