Protester punched, kicked at Donald Trump rally in Arizona
A Donald Trump rally that began with near-constant interruptions reached a violent crescendo Saturday when a protester was punched and kicked while being escorted out.
At the event in Tucson, a man dressed in an American flag shirt and holding a sign showing Trump's face with the slogan "Bad for America," was pulled to the ground by someone in the stands. He was punched at least once and kicked several times before police separated the two men.
Officers handcuffed the audience member and walked him out of the arena at the Tucson Convention Center.
See photos of the protesters at the March 19 rallies:
"We had to get involved in that one," Tucson police Sgt. Pete Dugan said. Dugan said officers generally stepped in when clashes turned physical; otherwise, he said, private security guards hired by the Trump campaign handled the removal of protesters.
Further information from police about the incident or the individuals involved was not immediately available.
Trump noticed the disturbance during his remarks, pointing to the stands and saying, "That's a disgrace."
It's unclear if Trump was referring to the protesters or the violence.
"They're taking away our First Amendment rights. They're troublemakers, they're no good, and we have to be careful," Trump said. "We've gotta take our country back, folks. We gotta take our country back, very simple."
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Video of the clash also shows a person in a white hood, following behind, delivering what appeared to be a Nazi salute.
"There's a disgusting guy, puts a Ku Klux Klan hat on," Trump said. "He thinks he's cute. He's a disgusting guy."
Later, he referred to the person again. "These are bad people, I'm telling you. And they're not really protesters. They're agitators."
At a March 9 Trump event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a member of the crowd sucker punched a man being ejected.
Critics have accused Trump's rhetoric of encouraging violence. Trump has said he does not condone violence.
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