A Donald Trump rally in Fayetteville, NC turned violent on Wednesday following another interruption by protestors. The shocking incident occurred as protester Rakeem Jones was being escorted from the rally, with multiple angles capturing a supporter in the crowd make his way towards Jones and strike him with his elbow. WNCN identifies the man as John McGraw, a 78-year-old resident of Linden, NC:
[McGraw] has been charged with assault and battery, disorderly conduct and communicating threats for his involvement in the incident. At the end of the video, Rakeem Jones is seen being tackled to the ground and arrested by security. McGraw showed little remorse for attacking Jones.
“You bet I liked it. Knocking the hell out of that big mouth…
McGraw’s mugshot made the rounds soon after, but it may be his comments captured by Inside Edition that end up causing him more trouble than his attack, characterized as a “sucker punch” by many who covered the story.
“Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization.”
WNCN carried a statement from Cumberland County Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler who denounced the incident and cleared up the confusion surrounding Jones being tackled after the attack, claiming miscommunication at the top of the stairs to be the culprit:
No one should be subjected to such a cowardly, unprovoked act as that committed by McGraw. Regardless of political affiliation, speech, race, national origin, color, gender, bad reputation, prior acts, or political demonstration, no other citizen has the right to assault another person or to act in such a way as this defendant did. I hope that the courts will handle this matter with the appropriate severity for McGraw’s severe and gross violation of this victim’s rights
During Thursday’s CNN debate, Jake Tapper hit Donald Trump with a question regarding the incident and his past rhetoric, forcing the candidate to denounce his crowd despite some of his past comments at rallies.
“I certainly do not condone that at all,” Trump said. He added: “We have some protesters who are bad dudes. They have done bad things.”
Check out the full exchange below and see the rest of the surprising bits in our GOP Debate recap tomorrow.