On March 12, while GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was addressing a rally at the Dayton OH airport, Secret Service agents rushed to form a protective cordon around the candidate. Tommy DiMassino, 32, was tacked by security when he attempted to rush the stage from where Trump spoke. He was arrested and taken into custody.
In an exclusive interview with CNN today, DiMassino recounted the incident and admitted that he sought to wrest the podium away from Trump. He supposedly did not seek to cause any harm. During the debate, DiMassino told Martin Savidge of CNN, he admitted to having planned the stunt. “I wanted to rush the stage when he referenced Chicago.” DiMassino added, “That was my goal.”
It was on March 11 when protesters infiltrated the pro-Trump rally at an arena on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, that fights broke out. Chanting “F—k Trump!”, “¡Si se puede!” (which, roughly translates from Spanish as ‘Yes, we can!’), and other slogans, protesters wearing Bernie Sanders t-shirts and Black Lives Matter regalia effectively shut down the Chicago rally. After conferring with law enforcement, the Trump campaign decided to postpone the event, citing concerns for the safety of Trump’s fans. Four police officers were wounded in affrays with protesters, who threw rocks and bricks.
DiMassino was asked what was in his mind as he rushed the stage, where Trump stood with his back to DiMassino. “I was thinking that Donald Trump was a bully, and nothing more than that… I can see that he’s truly just a coward, he’s opportunistic.”
DiMassino is a student at near Wright State University. Video has emerged in which he participated in a campus demonstration where he and a companion trampled an American flag. Veterans and patriotic groups were on hand to counter his protest last year.
Some postings on Twitter and elsewhere have been cited as evidence of plans to disrupt the Chicago event by groups affiliated with the Sanders campaign.