🔵 Rocky Granata was assaulted while at a Middletown tire store

🔵 He is the owner of an RV covered in Donald Trump pictures and posters

🔵 Police say the RV had "absolutely nothing" to do with the assault

MIDDLETOWN — The driver of an RV known for being covered in Donald Trump posters and images was assaulted with a hammer at a tire store Friday and credits a MAGA hat for saving his life.

Middletown Police Deputy Chief Paul Bailey said Rocky Granata, 64, of Edison, was hit in the head multiple times at the Crown Tire store on Route 36 by Michael Gonzales, 36, of Philadelphia. Granata was taken by medical helicopter to Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

Gonzales also pushed a woman during the assault causing her to fall. She was taken to Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. Her identity was not disclosed.

Granata owns an RV known as the "Trump Trailer" that also has American flags and  other political messages. He has since been released from the hospital and is back on the road with the RV selling glasses that can be used to view Monday's solar eclipse. He is at the ShopRite in Atlantic Highlands in the hours until the big event.

Bailey told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that Granata's transportation had "absolutely nothing to do with the assault." He did not disclose a motive for the incident.

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Rocky Granata's RV
Rocky Granata's RV (Rocky Granata)

Cap saved his life

Granata, who has a gash on the right side of his head and some brusing, told New Jersey 101.5 that Gonzales is the son of his girlfriend of five years.

"When I met him he had a heroin problem and he was a thief," Granata said. "His father just died of heroin and his other friends died. He's been in and out of different situations."

Granata credits his Make America Great Again (MAGA) baseball cap for saving his life.

"I that if I didn't have this hat on my head I'm sure that sledgehammer would have gone right through my head," Granata said.

Gonzales is charged with one count of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes. He is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institute pending a retention hearing.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Monday whether Gonzales had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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