Donald Trump in Anaheim: Police arrest 16 protesters at day, evening rallies


The first heckler was tossed minutes into Donald Trump’s stump speech in Anaheim on Wednesday.

“Get him out of here. Out. Out. Out. Out,” Trump, from the podium, told security officials at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“Don’t hurt him,” he added. “I say that for the TV cameras, but don’t hurt him.”

It was just a small part of a full day of Trump-oriented confrontation in Anaheim.

The candidate, speaking to about 3,000 people in Anaheim and partially broadcast live on CNN, offered an anti-immigrant message in a majority Latino city.

Citizens on all sides of the Trump spectrum clashed in and outside the Convention Center, as police from Anaheim and other cities, as well as Orange County sheriff’s deputies, used horses and riot equipment to control the crowd.

Throughout the day and at a second gathering in the evening, 16 people were arrested.

Pro-Trump attendees chanted: “USA! USA!,” while Trump protesters chanted an earthier “(expletive) Trump!”

Fourteen people, including nine adults and five juveniles, were arrested Wednesday following Trump’s speech, including two for urinating in public and one for selling T-shirts without a business permit, Detective Laura Lomeli said.

Police also said several protesters threw bottles and other objects, prompting police to clear parts of several streets.

At least one Trump supporter, Russ Taylor, 35, of Lake Forest, said he was assaulted, hit in the face by an egg thrown at him by a pre-teen boy.

“Get the police! Get the police!” Taylor yelled as he chased after the boy.

“I wasn’t gonna hurt him,” Taylor said. “I just wanted to get him to the police.”

Taylor, whose small business develops smartphone apps, said the protesters’ actions are “ironic.”

“They’re trying to suppress our rights,” he said. “We should be able to attend a rally without being hit by an egg.”

The protesters and supporters eventually moved onto Harbor Boulevard as Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and Anaheim police began moving forward.

Several supporters and protesters nearly came to blows as the two groups screamed obscenities at each other; a couple of fireworks exploded.

Around 2 p.m., police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly and ordered people to leave, closing down a stretch of Harbor Boulevard.

About 5:50 p.m., Wednesday about 40 protesters began throwing rocks, lighting fireworks and setting trash receptacles on fire near the intersection of Orangewood Avenue and Harbor Boulevard, Lomeli said.

Anaheim police called for reinforcements about 90 minutes later from other police agencies after the crowd grew to about 100 protesters near Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard resulting in two more arrests, she said.

By 9 p.m., the protesters had begun to disperse. There were no reported injuries.

Trump supporters applauded the police, even as officers began pushing them and the protesters south to Orangewood.

“I don’t understand why they think yelling at each other will help,” said Marcus Briscoe, 19, of Pomona, who is majoring in political science at Columbia University and hasn’t decided who to vote for. “They won’t come to a solution that way.”

The gathering outside the convention center grew more heated just as Trump’s speech ended, shortly after 1 p.m.

As Trump issued an anti-immigrant message in a city that is majority Latino, protesters outside chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” echoing the protests in Costa Mesa last month. And at least one Donald Trump piñata was decapitated and its head used as a makeshift soccer ball.

Meanwhile, a few Trump supporters asked protesters for their identification, suggesting that the protesters aren’t citizens; Trump supporters urged many to “go home.”

Other protesters offered a different message. Skylar Cothran, 33, of Fullerton, held a sign reading, “More love, less hate.”

“I’m 100 percent against Trump,” he said. “His hatred speaks for itself.”

But many Trump supporters said the candidate is tapping into something missed by political and media elites.

“He has a vision for America” said Deborah Kurilchyk, a Tustin resident in her 60s who came to the rally with her longtime friend, Charline Berg, 72, of Yorba Linda.

“The number of people who show up at his rallies demonstrates the fear for our nation.”

For some supporters – many of whom came to Anaheim from around the state – the event was a highlight.

“There’s no way I would miss this,” said Cindy Widdall, 53, a lifelong resident of Garden Grove.

Widdall loves that Trump talks about her biggest issues: illegal immigration and jobs.

“Illegal immigration is out of control,” she said.

Trump rallies and anti-Trump protests have sometimes lacked control.

Trump’s previous Orange County stop in April turned ugly. Following Trump’s speech, large groups of people flooded into the streets around the OC Fairgrounds, harassed motorists and smashed a police cruiser’s windshield.

And less than 24 hours before Trump spoke in Anaheim anti-Trump protesters in Albuquerque, New Mexico staged violent protests that ended in pepper spray and arrests.

The latest Orange County swing for Trump also comes as he has spars with Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

In a speech Tuesday at the Center for Popular Democracy’s annual gala in Washington, Warren characterized Trump as “drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown – because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap. What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions?”

Warren enjoys strong support with many of the Democratic constituencies passionate about Sanders.

Trump on Wednesday referred to Warren as “Pocahontas,” accusing her of saying that she was Native American because “her cheekbones were high.”

Staff writer Joshua Sudock, the Associated Press and the Washington Post contributed to this story.

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