HCGOP E.C. Chad Caton and his collective team of leadership at the HCGOP will now need to explain their actions and their statements to a jury following a Rock The Red event held earlier this year.
MyrtleBeachSC News has documented in previous articles the Greenville assault on Matthew McDaniel.
Caton, Roger Slagle, Tracy Bean Diaz, Jeremy Halpin of Horry County, along with ROCK THE RED organizer Pressley Stutts (among others) are being sued for Slander/libel by Matthew McDaniel.
The complaint states that McDaniel purchased a ticket to the “Rock The Red” event held in Greenville, S.C.
At the close of the event McDaniel stepped forward, made a toast , stating, “General Flynn is the biggest scumbag traitor in this country…“
It was at this point that McDaniel was attacked by Defendant Jeff Magg (also being sued).
Magg’s attack was followed by Chad Caton, who rushed from the convention floor to the stage area body slamming McDaniel.
The Multiple Assaults On McDaniel By Caton Can Be Viewed Here
In the days following this event, Chad Caton made statements that were outright lies according to the complaint.
Defendant Caton made numerous false and defamatory statements to police, attendees of the Rock the Red Event, on Tracey Beanz’s podcast “Dark to Light with Frank andBeanz,” and to Defendant TheStandardSC.org.
a. Plaintiff possessed a weapon, despite the fact that Plaintiff possessed no weapon, the police found no weapon, and the official police report indicates there was never any weapon;
b. Plaintiff was a threat to General Flynn, despite the fact that nothing Plaintiff said was threatening and Flynn was not even in the room;
c. Plaintiff struck Caton in the jaw, despite the fact that Caton placed Plaintiff in a horse-collar hold and was never struck by anyone;
d. Defendant Caton ensured that none of the other guests harmed Plaintiff, despite the fact that Defendant Caton allowed another guest to punch him in the face.
Pressley Stutts, organizer at MySCGOP and Rock The Red also made false statements according to the complaint.
In his official statement, Rock The Red Organizer Pressley Stutts claimed:
a. Plaintiff “infiltrated” the event despite the fact that Plaintiff paid $197.00 to attend the event and was wearing a lanyard with his credentials at the time he was physically seized and assaulted;
b. Plaintiff “had what appeared to be a martial arts weapon in his hand,” despite the fact that Plaintiff possessed no weapon, the police found no weapon, and the official police report indicates there was never any weapon;
c. Plaintiff was “crazed,” despite the fact that Plaintiff has never been diagnosed with any mental disease, disorder or defect other than depression; and
d. Plaintiff created a “deadly” situation by calling General Flynn a traitor, despite the fact that no threat of physical harm was ever made verbally or any other type of communication.
HCGOP LEADERSHIP CLAIMS
In the days following the event, Defendants HCGOP, Beanz, Slagle, and Halpin released a false and defamatory statement about the incident.
In the “Official Press Release of the Horry County Republican Party,” these defendants claimed:
a. Plaintiff was not a “guest” but was an “infiltrator” to the event, despite the fact that Plaintiff paid $197.00 to attend the event and was wearing a lanyard with his credentials at the time he was physically seized and assaulted;
b. Plaintiff was a “threat” to General Flynn, despite the fact that nothing Plaintiff said was threatening and Flynn was not even in the room;
c. Defendant Caton “ensured” that none of the other guests “harmed” Plaintiff, despite the fact that Defendant Caton allowed another guest to punch him in the face;
d. “The perpetrator was in possession of a weapon” despite the fact that no weapon was found by anyone at the event and the police report specifically states that there was no weapon in the possession of Plaintiff; and
e. Plaintiff was a member of Antifa, despite the fact he never made this claim to anyone, ever.
Tracy Beanz Diaz operates a podcast entitled “Dark to Light with Frank and Beanz.” On this podcast, Defendant Beanz stated that she was an eyewitness to the actions of Plaintiff and that he did, in fact, have a weapon. This was a lie.
All of these claims were false, Defendants knew or should have known that they were false, and made these statements maliciously and with the intent to harm Plaintiff.
The final paragraph of Defendant HCGOP’s Official Press Release states “We’d like everyone to think before they post, as each of you are the representatives of the Horry County GOP, and carefully decide how your own actions may be accomplishing of what
we all claim to desire.”
This demonstrates Defendant HCGOP’s acknowledgment of its own responsibility to investigate claims prior to making defamatory statements to a public audience.
The matter is now headed to court in the 15th Circuit.