The victim was identified by friends as Antonio Foreman, the paper said, adding that he’s also worked as a bodyguard for “popular alt-right figures” such as Tim Gionet, an internet personality known by his @BakedAlaska Twitter handle.
Gionet — who posted photos of the victim in a hospital bed — claimed Foreman was stabbed nine times in a racially motivated attack after leaving a “Trump event” and that his assailants were screaming and calling him “white boy & cracker.”
“LAPD detective tells me the last thing Tony heard before blacking out was: ‘You’re getting the shank White Boy,'” Gionet also tweeted.
Gionet told the Times that Foreman, whom he described as one of his best friends, was in stable condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The Times characterized the Oath Keepers as “a group comprised largely of ex-law enforcement officers and military veterans” that often provides “security for far-right protesters and at demonstrations in support of President Trump.”
Lt. Saul Rodriguez, a Santa Monica police spokesman, told the paper it doesn’t appear the victim was attacked over his race or political beliefs.
“There’s nothing here that would lead us to believe it was targeted or a hate crime or anything like that,” Rodriguez told the Times.
Edgar Khodzhafaryan, 30, and Arsen Bekverdyan, 31, were exiting the parking structure and attempting to call for a parking attendant to help them operate the gate when the victim “made a comment to the suspects which led to an argument,” Rodriguez told the Times.
All three men exited their vehicles and a fistfight erupted shortly after 11 p.m., the paper reported, adding that Rodriquez said the victim — realizing he’d been stabbed after the suspects fled — was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Khodzhafaryan and Bekverdyan were arrested late Saturday while being treated for minor injuries at an area hospital, Rodriguez told the Times, and both were booked on suspicion of attempted murder. Khodzhafaryan also is suspected of a probation violation, Rodriguez told the paper.
Bekverdyan is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, the Times said, citing online jail records. Bail information regarding Khodzhafaryan wasn’t immediately available, the paper added.