Agents rush stage at Trump rally
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he was “going to start pressing charges” against the protesters who kept interrupting him on the campaign trail on Saturday.
Following Friday night’s unrest in Chicago before one his rallies, Trump was met with protests and countless interruptions in Ohio and Missouri.
“I hope they arrest these people, because honestly they should be,” Trump said to cheers from the crowd. “The only way to stop the craziness is to press charges.”
The Chicago Police Department said in a news release sent Saturday night that three men from Chicago and a 45-year-old woman from Michigan were arrested and charged for participating in a disturbance at the protest Friday night.
At a rally in Dayton, Ohio, Saturday, a man tried to breach the security buffer at the event and he was removed “rapidly and professionally,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. Secret Service agents rushed the stage to protect the billionaire business mogul.
Thomas Dimassimo was identified as the barrier jumper. He was charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said.
Trump’s path continued onto Kansas City, Mo. where he was interrupted numerous times. At least seven individuals stalled the rally in the first few minutes.
“I think they’re Bernie [Sanders] supporters,” Trump said of the protesters, pointing to at least one protester the Republican frontrunner said was holding a sign in support of the Democratic presidential candidate.
Trump canceled his rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago on Friday after violence broke out in the arena where he was scheduled to speak. He spoke later to Fox News, saying he canceled the event because he didn’t want to see “people get hurt.”
He said he made the decision to cancel after meeting with law enforcement authorities. Trump also said his First Amendment rights had been violated.
Hours earlier, Trump supporters and opponents stood calmly in a line together waiting to get inside. Police horses and barricades kept the bulk of the demonstrators across the street.
Trump opponents were protesting what they called his divisive comments, particularly about Muslims and Mexicans. Dozens of UIC faculty and staff had petitioned university administrators to cancel the rally, citing concerns it would create a “hostile and physically dangerous environment.”
At one point, nearly 20 officers who had been manning barricades suddenly bolted for an intersection across a street bridge over a freeway — where protesters shouted at and jostled with police already there. An officer was seen walking from that intersection with blood on his head.
For Sunday, Trump is expected to make a stop in Bloomington, Illinois. He is expected to be met with more protests and local officials said they would be deploying extra police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.