Trump Claims His Fans Beating Up a Peaceful Protester Was an “Assassination Attempt” On Him
Donald Trump was rushed off a stage here Saturday by Secret Service agents during a campaign speech after an incident in the crowd near the front of the stage.
A Secret Service spokesperson said in a statement there was a commotion in the crowd and an “unidentified individual” shouted “gun,” though no weapon was found after a “thorough search.”
A man, who later identified himself to reporters as Austyn Crites, was then immediately detained and led out by a throng of police officers, Secret Service agents and SWAT officers armed with assault rifles to a side room.
A law enforcement official later told CNN no charges were filed against Crites.
After he was released from custody, Crites told reporters the incident started off when he raised a “Republicans Against Trump” sign.
Crites said he was then assaulted by a group of people around him before anyone shouted anything about a gun.
“All of a sudden, because they couldn’t grab the sign, or whatever happened, bam, I get tackled by all these people who were just, like, kicking me and grabbing me in the crotch and just, just beating the crap out of me,” Crites said, according to KTNV. “And somebody yells something about a gun, and so that’s when things really got out of hand.”
Crites told ABC News Sunday he “just wanted to voice my displeasure,” and said he has no association with the Clinton campaign, other than personally supporting the Democratic nominee.
“I was a Republican supporter through the primaries, and I have donated money to the Hillary Clinton campaign recently because I think that Trump is a disaster for the country,” he said, adding he has already voted for Clinton.
The alleged assault against Crites is just the latest such incident to occur at a Trump rally, where other protesters have previously been roughed up.
Trump was unharmed and returned to the stage minutes later to finish his speech.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy for us, but we will never be stopped. We will never be stopped. I want to thank the Secret Service. These guys are fantastic,” Trump said, before returning to his stump speech.
Trump was in the middle of his stump speech when the commotion occurred. He was looking into the crowd, his hand over his eyes to block the glare from the stage lights, when Secret Service agents grabbed him and escorted him off the stage. Trump ducked his head as he left the stage.
The crowd surged backward, some supporters with frightened looks on their faces, as the Secret Service and police tactical units rushed in to detain a man.