Man accused of driving van into GOP tent says he’s thankful no one was hurt

Gregory Timm, 27, spoke to News4Jax in interview at Duval County jail

Man accused of driving van into GOP tent says he’s thankful no one was hurt
Man accused of driving van into GOP tent says he’s thankful no one was hurt

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who is accused of deliberately driving a van into a Republican voter registration tent in an incident that captured national attention told News4Jax that he never intended to hurt anyone.

Gregory Timm, 27, spoke to News4Jax in a face-to-face interview at the Duval County jail on Friday, saying he’s thankful no one was injured and that it’s “amazing how much this story has changed.” It was the first day he was allowed visitors since his arrest.

Timm’s demeanor overall was friendly and pleasant during the 10-minute conversation with News4Jax. We were not allowed to bring a camera, microphone or even a pen and paper with us.

He said he was surprised to see a reporter Friday and was not prepared to make a statement yet but has “more to say” about Saturday's incident at the Walmart Superstore at the corner of Atlantic and Kernan boulevards. He said he hasn't had a chance to talk to an attorney yet.

Timm was arrested hours after police said his van plowed through the tent, narrowly missing volunteers who were set up in the Walmart parking lot.

RELATED: What we know about man accused of driving into GOP tent

While the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately say if the action was politically motivated, the incident was quickly condemned as a political attack by both Republican and Democratic leaders in Jacksonville, Florida’s two U.S. Senators, and even President Donald Trump.

In an unredacted arrest report obtained by News4Jax, Timm admitted to purposefully driving into the tent because “someone had to take a stand” and said his disapproval of Trump was a motivating factor. Witnesses said he “flipped off” the people near the tent before driving away.

Timm spoke to News4Jax on Friday about the “divisiveness" of the current political climate in the United States and said it'll be interesting to see what's to come in the next year.

He said he intentionally waited about 20 minutes in the parking lot “for people to clear out” of the voter registration tent and that he never intended for anyone to get hurt. No injuries were reported after the incident.

When asked about his feelings on the importance of voting, Timm agreed that it is extremely important that people vote.

He shared some of his background with News4Jax, saying he was born in Iowa but moved to Phoenix when he was very young. He said he lived in St. Augustine for six years before moving to Jacksonville two years ago. He said he's never been to jail before.

Timm is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a person over 65 years old, criminal mischief and driving without a license. He is due back in court in early March. Jail records show his bond is still more than $500,000.

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