Culture

The Man Detained For A Trump Rally ‘Assassination Attempt’ Had No Gun, Credits Police With Saving His Life

Saturday night saw a confusing situation at a Nevada rally when Donald Trump was hustled offstage by Secret Service due to an “apparent threat.” Police swiftly detained a man — who can be seen being escorted away in this video to a chorus of boos — and there was plenty of unfounded speculation over whether he was wielding a gun. A Secret Service statement revealed how someone shouted, “Gun!” after chaos broke out during Trump’s speech, but no weapon was ever recovered.

The detained man, Austyn Crites, was handcuffed and questioned by police, who ended up letting him go. He was not in possession of a weapon, and Crites spoke to the press to explain his entire ordeal, which sounds horrifying. This photo, which was tweeted by The Guardian‘s Paul Lewis, indicates that Crites was simply holding a “Republicans Against Trump” sign.

Crites told Lewis he was voting for some Republicans in this year’s election, but (clearly) not Trump.

He also says Trump supporters saw his sign and began pummeling him. Someone put him in a chokehold.

The BBC’s James Cook also spoke to Crites, who says he was “saved by cops” after an unidentified person saw his sign and yelled about a gun (Mark Ambinder of USA Today quotes a Homeland Security official who confirms the signage and reactionary shouting.)

The Daily Mail identifies Crites as a high-altitude balloon designer and Hillary Clinton supporter, although he’s been registered as a Republican for over five years. The Guardian‘s Lewis notes how Crites emphasizes his Republican status and claims he was in fear for his life.

This situation played out much differently than when Obama defended a person who was holding a Trump sign while he stumped for Clinton on Friday. Also worth mentioning — Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a claim that the Reno incident was “an assassination attempt.”

Dan Scavino, a Trump campaign adviser and social media director, also retweeted the same claim.

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