What started out as a peaceful protest near Parris Island on Thursday afternoon turned into assault and battery against one of the protesters.
Port Royal Police confirmed the charges but would not disclose any other details.
Former Parris Island drill instructor Ethan Arguello, who organized the protest, claims a Parris Island Marine approached him along part of Ribaut Road about his hat.
"He pulls up and he walks up to me and says, ‘Are you Ethan Arguello?' I said ‘yes', and he said ‘I spoke to you on the phone yesterday' and I said ‘yes'. He said ‘I know I told you not to wear that campaign cover,'" said Arguello.
Arguello said he wore the hat to represent active duty Marines who can't protest.
The two apparently exchanged heated words in front of Port Royal Police officers who tried to defuse the situation.
"As I gave ground, he took ground," said Arguello. "I'm slowly backing up as he's coming after me, close and closer. We were both 12 inches from face to face at this point."
The argument soon caught the attention of other protesters who heard them screaming at each other.
"And then, all of a sudden, the drill sergeant, he just head butted Ethan's hat right off his head," said protester Monique Puffinberger. "He grabbed it, got in his Jeep and drove off."
Police recovered the hat and Arguello filed charges after the protest.
At this time, police would not release any other details, including the name of the military officer.
Parris Island declined to comment at this time because the incident happened off base.
Arguello and the other protesters plan to return to Parris Island to protest again, despite what happened.
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