A former drill instructor protesting the recent Taliban prisoner exchange near the entrance to Parris Island found himself toe-to-toe with an angry sergeant major.
USMC Sgt. Maj. Paul Archie took exception to protest organizer Ethan Arguello‘s choice of hats, according to WTOC-TV.
“He pulls up and he walks up to me and says, ‘Are you Ethan Arguello?’” the former Marine told the local CBS affiliate. “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.’”
A “campaign cover” is a traditional four dent style hat worn by USMC drill instructors — Arguello told WTOC he wore the hat to represent active duty Marines who can’t protest.
With police watching the entire encounter, things quickly escalated.
“As I gave ground, he took ground,” Arguello said. “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.”
An eyewitness described what happened next.
“And then, all of a sudden, the drill sergeant, he just head butted Ethan’s hat right off his head,” fellow protester Monique Puffinberger said. “He grabbed it, got in his Jeep and drove off.”
Police eventually recovered the campaign cover and Archie was charged with third-degree assault and battery.