Donald Trump said Friday on his Twitter account that the attack on a homeless man earlier this week in Boston was "terrible."
"Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence," he said in a tweet posted at 12:35 p.m.
Two South Boston brothers have pleaded not guilty to charges that they attacked a homeless man who was from Mexico outside a Dorchester MBTA stop. The brothers allegedly punched the 58-year-old man, beat him with a metal pole, and urinated on his face.
State Police said in their report that one of the men, Scott Leader, 38, told troopers that "Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported," a reference to Trump's past comments about immigrants. The comments allegedly made by Leader stirred widespread concern and criticism.
Asked about the alleged attack Wednesday, Trump told the Globe in New Hampshire, "it would be a shame . . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate."
Robert O. Trestan, the New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Thursday that inflammatory words on the campaign trail and elsewhere can create fear.
Trestan said that Trump's comments Wednesday were "particularly troubling. Hate crimes deserve strong, unequivocal condemnation. There is nothing patriotic or passionate in this alleged attack."
Maria Sacchetti and James Pindell of the Globe staff contributed to this report.