Secret Service hustled Donald Trump off stage briefly at a Saturday night rally in Reno, Nevada after a man who had held up a sign that read “Republicans Against Trump” was attacked by rally attendees and someone in the crowd yelled “gun.”
No gun was found and no charges were filed against the longtime Republican who held up the sign, CNN reported.
“Immediately in front of the stage, an unidentified individual shouted ‘gun.’ Secret Service agents and Reno Police Officers immediately apprehended the subject,” the Secret Service said in a statement, as reported by NBC News. “Upon a thorough search of the subject and the surrounding area, no weapon was found,” the statement said.
A man was removed who appeared to be handcuffed; he was released and told reporters he’s a lifelong Republican and had held up a sign that read “Republicans Against Trump.”
No charges were filed against sign-holder Austyn Crites, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement official. Crites told the local NBC affiliate station that when he pulled out the sign people began to jeer him and grab at the sign.
Trump saw the commotion and was seen on national news outlets asking Crites if he was from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“When I pulled out the sign, people around me were trying to grab the sign,” Crites told KRNV. “And so all that was occurring was booing, of course; that’s what you would expect.”
“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 in the crotch and just, just beating the crap out of me. And somebody yells something about a gun, and so that’s when things really got out of hand,” he said, thanking law enforcement for jumping in quickly, and telling reporters he believes he would have been killed by the crowd had officers not intervened.
Trump returned minutes later, saying, “Nobody said it was gonna be easy for us, but we will never be stopped,” and thanking the Secret Service. Meanwhile, his son Donald Jr. and his social media honcho Dan Scavino tweeted that the candidate had just survived an assassination attempt.
Crites later said, in a Facebook post that he has no connection to Clinton’s campaign, but did vote for her because, “though I do not agree with many of Hillary’s policies, we cannot allow a fascist/dictator to take our beloved freedoms to simply boost his ego and ‘get back’ at anyone who disagrees. Take what happened to me tonight as a classic example of dictator incitement of violence – against your own Republican brother with a stupid sign.”