California man arrested for switchblade attack on pro-Trump GOP candidate

Rudy Peters is running for Congress against California incumbent Rep. Eric Swalwell. Sunday, Peters was attending an event called the Castro Valley Fall Festival when he was approached by a man who began making “disparaging remarks” about the GOP and then pulled out a switchblade. Today, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office released this account of the incident and arrest:

On Sunday, September 9, 2018, about 3:45pm, ACSO deputies were assigned to the Castro Valley Fall Festival when they were alerted to a possible knife attack at one of the vendor booths.

Deputies arrived at the booth and made contact with the victim who is running as a political candidate for a local congressional seat.

According to witness statements, Farzad Fazeli (35) approached the victim in an aggressive manner and made disparaging remarks about his political party and elected officials. During the incident, Fazeli is suspected to have pulled out a switchblade knife and attempted to stab the victim. The knife malfunctioned and the victim became involved in a physical struggle with Fazeli.

Fazeli fled the scene but was detained a short time later by deputies. A switchblade knife was located on his person.

Fazeli was placed under arrest for felony assault, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon and possession of a switchblade knife.

I’m curious about what “the knife malfunctioned” means exactly. There are various types of switchblades or OTF knives but all of them are intended to lock in place after the blade opens. In this case, either the knife failed to open at all, or perhaps it opened but failed to lock in place when Fazeli tried to stab Peters. That’s the only thing that seems to make sense, but none of the stories about the incident offer any more detail about the attack itself or the type of knife involved.

I’m also curious about what Fazeli said just prior to the attack. I do have a guess which elected officials he was upset about based on this description of Rudy Peters from SFGate:

Peters is a Republican running to unseat Rep. Eric Swallwell, D-Dublin, in the 15th Congressional District of California, which is mostly in eastern Alameda County. Peters is a supporter of President Donald Trump and his website features Trump’s slogan MAGA, for Make America Great Again.

Here’s Peter’s website which does indeed have “MAGA” in the header image. Again, we need to wait for confirmation of the motive, which will probably come when the police report on the attack is released. For now, this is just another incident of left-wing political violence which, thankfully, didn’t succeed.

For his part, Rep. Swalwell released this statement decrying political violence on Twitter. I’m not a Rep. Swalwell fan but he deserves credit for at least saying the right thing here: “It’s NEVER okay to use violence to settle political disagreements (or any disagreement).”

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