Kino Jimenez, the man accused of tossing a drink on a Texas teenager wearing a MAGA hat and then walking off with the hat, said the hat was the equivalent to him of seeing a KKK hood, according to KSAT-TV.
The man, who was featured in a viral video and now stands accused of felony theft, spoke out to Texas television for the first time. According to KSAT, Jimenez told reporters that what happened “was a lapse in judgment that was out of character for him.” The station added, “Jimenez said seeing the hat had the same effect on him that a Ku Klux Klan hood would have had.” He says his family has received threats, and KSAT-TV reported that some are clamoring for police to up the charges to assault.
The teen, Hunter Richard, told NBC News that he supports Donald Trump and added, “And if you don’t, let’s have a conversation about it instead of ripping my hat off.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Jimenez Was Accused of Felony Theft by Authorities
Kino Jimenez was arrested, booked into a county jail, and accused of felony theft, in the wake of the viral video that captured the incident, Bexar County magistrate records show.
Jimenez is accused of attacking 16-year-old Hunter Richard at a San Antonio area Whataburger restaurant. Video of the confrontation, in which the man is also heard uttering a racial slur and is seen walking away with the red MAGA hat, went viral. In the wake of that, Jimenez was fired from his job at Rumble bar and kicked out of the state Green Party.
Here’s his new mugshot, according to the Bexar County Jail. In it, he appears a lot more clean-shaven than he did in the viral video:
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about Richard, “If someone can get me this young man’s information, I’ll get him a new #maga hat…SIGNED by #potus.” Jimenez was booked and released from the jail after his bail was set at $5,000.
Jimenez Was Arrested by Detectives With a Robbery Task Force, Police Say
Jail records show that Jimenez was arrested and booked into the jail on the evening of July 5, 2018. According to San Antonio police, “This evening detectives assigned to the Robbery Task Force were able to locate the suspect in the ‘Whataburger’ incident. Warrant #1653732 was issued for the suspect Kino Jimenez 30 years (Sid# 905396). The aforementioned warrant is for Theft of Person. Kino Jimenez was located in Universal City, Texas. Universal City police officers took Mr Jimenez into custody without incident.”
The above photo is a 2017 mugshot of Jimenez, according to Bexar County. Here’s a 2016 mugshot for him that the jail had on hand:
Jail records indicate that Jimenez is being booked on a felony state charge for theft from person. Jimenez “initially asked Hunter why he was wearing the hat and the teen responded by saying he was supporting the president,” ABC 13 reports.
A Viral Video Captured the Confrontation
In the video, the edited version of which you can watch above and a more graphic unedited version of which you can watch below, the man now named as Kino Jimenez throws a drink and walks off with a red MAGA hat. The television station reports that Richard says the man took his hat.
In the unedited version, the man who throws the drink also uses a racial slur against the teenage boys who are sitting at a table in the fast-food restaurant (specifically the “N” word). Be aware that the video is disturbing.
A GoFundMe page for Jimenez was created and quickly deleted, according to websites that took screenshots.
In an interview with Heavy, Gavino Zarate, secretary of the Harris County Green Party, who said he was speaking for the state party as a whole on the issue, condemned the incident. Jimenez had been listed as a member on the Green Party’s website in Texas.
“We all have different opinions of our president, but we don’t take it out on innocent kids who just happen to have a hat on,” Zarate told Heavy in an exclusive interview. “You may not like the hat or you may not like the president, but you don’t show that kind of aggression toward teenagers. It goes against everything the Green Party stands for. We are not violent. We do not take our aggression out on innocent young people.” The man’s full name is Kino Ahuitzotl Jimenez.
“We are handling it in house. From our point of view, he is banned from being part of our organization,” said Zarate. San Antonio police have confirmed the boy, identified by local TV as Hunter Richard, and his guardian made a report on the incident.
According to Zarate, he removed Jimenez from the party’s website, and Jimenez is now kicked out of the party, after the Green Party learned about the video. “What Kino has (allegedly) done out of his own will, he has really shed a negative light on our party,” he said, adding that the party is now receiving hate calls. “He preyed upon two or three young people,” he alleged. “I removed him. It’s very disturbing.”
In contrast, says Zarate, the Green Party has very different ideals. “We stand for diversity. We stand for being green as far as our environment. We are a non-violent peaceful group and we advocate for all sorts of ideals and we are pro feminism but the one thing we are not, we are not about violent acts. We are definitely against those things,” said Zarate.
In addition to the action by the Green Party, Kino Jimenez was fired by Rumble, a San Antonio bar, which wrote that its employee’s alleged actions “go against everything that this establishment stands for.” After the establishment’s comment thread started filling up with remarks about the MAGA incident, Rumble deleted its Facebook page.
The bar posted the statement on Facebook after the video went viral.
In the statement before deleting its page, Rumble wrote that the man seen in the viral video was a part-time employee.
“It came to our attention earlier this evening that a part-time employee was captured on cell phone video assaulting another person at a local eatery. The assault took place, presumably, because this employee did not agree with the other individuals political stance,” the bar wrote.
“We have since terminated this employee, as his actions go against everything that this establishment stands for. Rumble has, and always will be, a bar that is as inclusive as any establishment could possibly be. THIS BAR IS A SAFE SPACE FOR EVERYONE! No matter your race, creed, ethnicity, sexual identity, and political stance, you are welcomed here! We do not condone the actions or behavior that were displayed in the cell phone video, and we never will. If you have any questions or concerns please message us privately. We support and appreciate your business.”
Whataburger condemned the incident but said in a statement that the man in it was not a Whataburger employee.
It reads, “We were shocked to see this video and certainly don’t condone this type of customer behavior in our restaurants. To be clear, no Whataburger employees were involved or witnessed the incident, and we ask that questions be directed to San Antonio PD as we continue supporting their efforts.”
Conflicting reports then emerged about what provoked the incident, but the original news source itself expressed later concern about the legitimacy of the most incendiary claim. A friend who was with Richard when the incident happened tweeted, “an article was released saying someone who was in the restaurant (even tho the only ones in the restaurant was my group and the guy who confronted us’s group.) said that we had provoked the man with racial slurs and much worse things, which never happened.” The teen, who tweets under the handle Brax, then wrote, “said I wouldn’t comment anymore but they pulled the article lmao.” He also wrote, “this article was pulled due to “concerns about the legitimacy of the statements.”
The article by KENS 5 was updated to remove the most incendiary quotes, and now reads, “Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included quotes from the alleged witness. Those have been removed from this copy due to concerns about the legitimacy of the statements.” The KENS 5 article notes, “KENS 5 was not able to independently verify the witness statements.” A story by WFMY, a sister station of KENS 5 that repeated the claims has been deleted. Some news outlets have linked to the now deleted WFMY story without updating their stories to explain it was deleted. In an interview with a Texas news outlet, Kino Jimenez did not allege any racial comments were made, although he said that seeing the MAGA hat was the equivalent to him of seeing a KKK hood.