CLEVELAND (AP) — A man arrested Saturday after he tried to get on the stage at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Ohio reportedly told police he planned to grab the microphone and yell that Trump is a racist but didn’t intend to hurt anyone.
The Dayton Daily News reported that it obtained a report from Dayton police that included comments 22-year-old Thomas DiMassimo of Fairborn made to officers after his arrest. The newspaper said DiMassimo told officers he gave his car keys to his girlfriend before he rushed the stage because he anticipated being arrested.
The newspaper said DiMassimo vaulted over waist-high metal railings, muscled past security guards and nearly got on the stage at the end of Trump’s rally before Secret Service agents tackled and handcuffed him. Video shows Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential campaign, turning around after hearing the commotion followed by agents surrounding him protectively. Trump was campaigning ahead of Tuesday’s Ohio primary
DiMassimo was released on bail Saturday after being charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct. DiMassimo, an acting major in the theater program at Wright State University, couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
The Daily News also reported DiMassimo was involved in an anti-racism protest at Wright State in April. Video from the protest shows him dragging an American flag behind and then standing on it.
Trump on Twitter thanked the Secret Service for acting so quickly on and implied that DiMassimo has ties to the Islamic State group, an assertion dismissed by experts.