On the evening of Nov. 14, an anti-Trump march organized by the Columbus branch of national group Socialist Alternative began at Ohio State's Oval and concluded at a rally held inside the Ohio Union. Some of the 100 to 150 protesters held placards stating "Not my president" and "Trump, you're fired."

On the evening of Nov. 14, an anti-Trump march organized by the Columbus branch of national group Socialist Alternative began at Ohio State's Oval and concluded at a rally held inside the Ohio Union. Some of the 100 to 150 protesters held placards stating "Not my president" and "Trump, you're fired."

At the Union, Timothy Adams, a 2014 OSU grad and organizer with the Columbus chapter of the International Socialist Organization, was the first to speak to the crowd. Perched on a staircase with a megaphone, Adams railed against the president-elect's proposed policies and called out Donald Trump for creating a culture of violence and intimidation.

A handful of Trump supporters heckled Adams as he spoke, but Adams ignored them. "Anyone who was opposed to what I was saying was trying to shut me down," Adams said recently by phone. "I tried to tune it out and keep talking to emphasize that I wasn't gonna be drowned out by someone who wanted to silence me."

At a certain point, Adams shifted his dialogue to tweak Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, rejecting their calls for unity and their willingness to work alongside a man as dangerous as Trump.

"Democracy needs a peaceful transfer of power!" shouted a man from the top of the stairs, according to Socialist Alternative. From there, OSU's student-run newspaper, The Lantern, captured on video the same man in a scarlet and gray shirt bounding down the steps yelling "You idiot!" and then shoving Adams from behind, sending him tumbling forward.

Adams landed on his hands and knees, in pain and in shock. Police escorted the assailant, Shane Michael Stanton, out of the Union as Adams collected himself. "Can I finish my speech now?" he asked aloud. After a friend spoke for a few minutes, Adams resumed his speech.

After the assault, Adams said the crowd was stunned. "People were frightened or worried," he said. "I'd just been attacked, and it wasn't clear why, but it seemed like it was a Trump supporter, and people were already afraid. That's why I decided I should get back there and keep talking, because I didn't want that to be how it ended - silencing activists."

Almost instantly, the Lantern video went viral. Adams began getting calls and texts from friends and media outlets within 15 minutes and throughout the night as he checked himself into the emergency room (doctors found bruising but no fractures).

It seemed like a disturbing but straightforward incident: Trump supporter inflicts violence on Trump protester. But things aren't always as simple as they appear.

The next day, Stanton's friend Drew Riedel provided some previously missing context in a Facebook post that was widely shared. "I actually personally know the assailant, and he is NOT a terrible person. Not by a long shot," Riedel wrote. "He is part of the DD community (developmental disabilities) as he has Asperger's and has worked really hard to adjust/socialize into the Ohio State community."

Riedel also said Stanton is a Hillary Clinton supporter and "a huge advocate for marginalized people groups." "Instead of this being the work of some violent crazy person, instead this is a really, really sad and unfortunate turn of events," he wrote. (Through Riedel, Stanton's family declined to comment for this story.)

While the context didn't excuse the violence, it changed the story. After speaking with Stanton's friends, Adams recommended the police drop the charges. "It wasn't what it seemed to be. It wasn't about silencing dissent or anything like that," Adams said. "I would like the chance to meet Shane and talk some more. I think that would be good."

While Adams said most people reacted positively to the way he handled the situation, he also received criticism online. "I got hate on pro-Clinton sides and pro-Trump sides for advocating that charges be dropped," he said. "People were saying that they think it was staged or they think that one of us was paid to do this because the charges were dropped. Other people have been saying that because I'm dropping the charges it gives credence to the idea that it was staged. [But] it didn't matter to me if he was a Trump supporter or a Clinton supporter. If it had been an attack in support of Clinton I would have continued to press charges."

While Adams is ready to move on from the incident, he said the attack taught him that activists need to be prepared to protect themselves at rallies, and it also gave him insight into his own strength. "It showed me what I'm capable of in a way that I was not aware of before - being able to get back up and keep things going and handle what was an extremely stressful situation," he said.