Arnaud Massartic Blog

Secret Service agents rush to protect Donald Trump as a man attempts to rush the stage at Ohio rally

A man apparently tried to rush the stage at a Donald Trump rally in Ohio Saturday, prompting Secret Service agents to surround the Republican presidential frontrunner.

“I was ready for him, but it’s much easier if the cops do it, don’t we agree?” Trump asked the crowd.

ABC News reported that Dayton police later arrested the man and charged him with “disorderly conduct and inducing panic.”

The night before his appearance in Ohio, Trump cancelled a planned rally at the University of Illinois Chicago, citing safety concerns. The event had drawn hundreds of protesters from around the Windy City to UIC’s diverse West side campus, where Yahoo News observed security escorting several seemingly peaceful protesters out of the venue well before Trump was slated arrive. Once it was announced that the rally would be postponed, a large portion of the crowd erupted in celebration, jumping up and down and chanting “we stopped Trump!”

While Trump claimed that the decision to cancel the event was based the recommendation of local law enforcement, the Chicago Police told a different story.

“The Chicago Police Department had no role,” Chicago Police Interim Supt. John Escalante told reporters outside the UIC Pavilion late Friday night.  “In fact, I can tell you we did assure the Trump campaign that we had more than adequate resources outside the UIC Pavilion and that we guaranteed them we could provide safe access and exit for Mr. Trump.”

In Ohio, the billionaire businessman told supporters that he was forced to postpone the Chicago event because of a “planned attack” that “came out of nowhere.” Other White House contenders from both political parties blamed Trump’s own divisive rhetoric for prompting such a backlash.

Clashes between supporters and protesters are becoming an increasingly common component of Trump’s campaign rallies, as is the swift ejection of protesters accompanied by taunting comments from the candidate and chants of “USA!” from the crowd.

In the days leading up to the Chicago rally, an elderly Trump supporter was arrested for punching a protester in the face at a rally in North Carolina,  and approximately three dozen were arrested for disturbing the peace at a Trump event in St. Louis where Trump reportedly referred to protesters “troublemakers” and urged them to “go home to mommy” or “go home and get a job” because “they contribute nothing.”

Despite the brief roadblock in Windy City, Trump was apparently back to rallying as usual in Ohio Saturday. In addition to the attempted stage rush, reports from the rally include Trump’s trademark taunting and a video of one protester being put in a chokehold.

NBC News reporter Shaquille Brewster tweeted that he spoke to the man who was choked who told him, “the rhetoric of the [campaign] is past the point of sitting back and not saying anything.”

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