Secret Service agents rushed Donald Trump offstage on Saturday evening during a rally in Reno, Nevada after they determined a protester in the audience might pose a threat to the Republican presidential candidate. “Go! Go!” agents shouted as they whisked Trump away and a combination of local police and private security wrestled Austyn Crites, 33, to the ground in the front of the crowd. Crites identifies as a Republican who supports Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to his Facebook page.
A senior Trump campaign official told DailyMail.com that the suspect, whom rally-goers already identified as an anti-Trump protester, caused a panic when he reached into his waistband. At that point, the campaign official said, a voice called out: ‘He’s got a gun!’ Trump’s protective detail sprang into action, pulling him offstage as a sea of bodies scattered, screams rang out and authorities dragged Crites away as he kicked and strained.
Authorities never confirmed early reports that Crites or any civilians at the rally had a firearm. One witness told DailyMail.com that a holstered gun was spotted on the hip of a plainclothes officer, adding to the confusion. Just before the fracas, Trump could be seen shielding his eyes from the lights in order to peer into the crowd as a struggle broke out.
Crites, who has since been released, appeared on local newscasts saying he had merely been holding a sign that read ‘Republicans Against Trump.’ When he reached into his waistband, however, police and good Samaritans took the man down. The crowd surged backward in fright and strained against metal barriers enclosing the press section.