A Donald Trump supporter who was caught on camera punching and kicking a protester at a rally in Arizona, has been charged with assault.
The Daily Mail reports:
Tony Pettway, 32, who is African American, was caught on camera attacking white demonstrator Bryan Sanders as he was being escorted out of the Republican event in Tuscon on Saturday.
— Johnny Silvercloud (@JohnnySilverclo) March 20, 2016
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, also appeared to grab a protester by the collar sparking another confrontation that have become features of Trump’s recent campaign events.
Sgt. Kim Bay, spokeswoman for the Tucson Police Department, said Pettway has now been arrested on a charge of assault with injury.
Sanders was allegedly carrying a sign with Trump’s face emblazoned with KKK written across the visage when he was assaulted.
The 33-year-old victim claims he was holding a ‘peace sign’ when he felt someone grab the placard out of his hand and ‘sucker punch’ him.
He later said that he was relieved he hadn’t been killed in the violent melee at the rally.
‘I feel great that I’m not dead, but I am definitely in physical pain,’ Sanders told the NY Daily News, adding that he had suffered a swollen jaw and bruised ribcage in the attack.
The protester was accompanied by another demonstrator – a woman wearing a white Ku Klux Klan hood in protest of Trump’s alleged ties with the white supremacist organization after he delayed in denouncing them.
Bay said Linda Rothman, 67, was also arrested inside the TCC during the rally. Rothman is facing a charge of assault with no injury.
Video footage reveals the shocking moment Pettway launched into the attack on Sanders, who was wearing a stars and stripes shirt as he was escorted out of the rally.
Pettway is seen aggressively ripping the poster of Trump out of Sanders’ hands before punching him in the face.
He goes into repeatedly punch and then kick the protester until the fight is broken up.
Johnny Silvercloud, who was sat next to Pettway at rally, tweeted a picture of the Trump supporter after the incident with the caption: ‘Hey, black dude at #TrumpRally in #Tuscon who brutalized protester was right beside me.’
He added that the Trump fan had also claimed to be in the Air Force.
During the same event another demonstrator was filmed speaking with a member of Trump’s undercover security alongside Lewandowski before the man is grabbed by the collar from behind.
Video of the incident clearly shows Lewandowski making a grabbing motion at the demonstrator, though he insists it was actually the man to his left that took hold of the man’s shirt.
The protester can be seen angrily turning around and pushing the man as Lewandowski lowers his arm back to his side.
As Trump appears to be closing in on the Republican presidential nomination, protests at his campaign events, which often attract tens of thousands of people, have become more common.
In just 10 days fights have broken out during at least four Trump rallies across North Carolina, Illinois and Arizona, leading to one event at a university in Chicago being cancelled.
A sheriff in North Carolina raised the prospect of charging Trump with inciting a riot after trouble there.
According to NBC News, Trump spoke to the crowd after seeing the protester being hit, saying it was ‘a disgrace’, though he appeared to be speaking about the protester, rather than the violence.
He said: ‘They’re taking away our First Amendment rights. They’re troublemakers, they’re no good, and we have to be careful.
‘We’ve gotta take our country back, folks. We gotta take our country back, very simple.’
Earlier Saturday a large group of demonstrators managed to block the main highway into Fountain Hill, Arizona, in an attempt to disrupt a Trump campaign event there.
Here is Donald Trump’s campaign manager in the Tucson crowd grabbing the collar of a protester. pic.twitter.com/JZ9RntWlHY
— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) March 19, 2016
Three people were arrested and will be charged with obstructing a public thoroughfare, a class three misdemeanor, Enriquez said.
The three unidentified individuals were taken to the Fourth Avenue jail in Phoenix. Trump ended up taking the stage about an hour late, and made no mention of the protests against him.
Once he stood before the crowd, he went into a tirade on his usual subjects, focusing on criticizing illegal immigration, a popular issue among his Arizona supporters.
The county’s controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Trump supporter who was also tasked with overseeing security, introduced the GOP candidate at the Phoenix rally.
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