It started with a comment on Facebook for people looking to protest President Trump’s rally Tuesday in Phoenix.
Among many posts about where to meet up and what to bring to the “Protest Trump Downtown Phoenix” event, one appeared that wasn’t like the others.
“You are all pathetic. Cant wait to drive through. 4×4 with push bumper will be sweet in this crowd. I named my lifted truck ‘trumper,’ ” James Cobo wrote.
The comment seemed to reference an incident just 10 days before, when 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed after a car slammed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville, Va.
People began taking screenshots of the post, researching the man who appeared to have posted it and contacting companies that could be his employer.
Less than 24 hours later, an automotive-services store in Buckeye, Ariz., a city about 40 miles west of downtown Phoenix, posted to Facebook condemning the threat and distancing itself from the man who posted it.
James Cobo had been an employee of West Valley Tires Point S, but that tie was severed as of Wednesday.
“West Valley Tires Point S wants to publicly state we do not condone or support violence or prejudice in anyway shape or form. We were recently made aware of an employee that posted outrageous posts and videos that are in no way affiliated with the positive views, values and appreciation we have for people in our community and throughout the world. That person is no longer affiliated with West Valley Tires Point S.”
“I’m being made into a horrible person over a joke that was just meant to ruffle some feathers,” said Cobo on Wednesday night.
“I admit it was a tasteless joke, but keyword here is it was a joke. If anybody was ever going to go and intentionally hurt people, why would they talk about it on social media publicly before doing it?”
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SOURCE: AZ Central; The Arizona Republic, Kaila White