Reno (US): In a security scare, Republican White House candidate Donald Trump was bundled off stage by Secret Service agents at a rally in Nevada after someone in the crowd shouted “gun” which led to a commotion.
A Secret Service spokesperson said in a statement that there was commotion in the crowd at the rally here when an “unidentified individual” shouted “gun,” though no weapon was found after a “thorough search”.
The 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 that 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 someone 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…and just, just beating me,” Crites was quoted as saying by KTNV.
“And somebody yells something about a gun, and so that’s when things really got out of hand,” he said.
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.
The Secret Service said no weapon was found. “Upon a thorough search of the subject and the surrounding area, no weapon was found,” it said.
The 70-year-old business tycoon returned to the stage just minutes after the incident, saying, “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 speech.
Trump later said, “I would like to thank the United States Secret Service and the law enforcement resources in Reno and the state of Nevada for their fast and professional response.”
“I also want to thank the many thousands of people present for their unwavering and unbelievable support. Nothing will stop us — we will make America great again!” Trump said.
An eyewitness was quoted as saying by NBC News, “I heard, ‘He has a gun’ and several of us went over to the side wall because we were frightened.” The eyewitness said she was impressed with Trump’s composure in continuing the speech.
Secret Service agents rushed to shield Trump onstage in March after a man tried to rush the stage during a rally in Dayton, Ohio, but the Republican nominee was not escorted off stage.
And a man was arrested at a rally in Las Vegas in June after he tried to grab a police officer’s gun, which he said he planned to use to shoot Trump. PTI
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