Folks of various political ideologies came together, and not in a good way, Monday at presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s rally Asheville rally at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. The rally was marred by various skirmishes both inside and outside the event center. One included a vicious chokehold; the other sent a 69-year-old woman to the hospital after she was punched in the head. There was plenty of hate and anger on both sides of the ledger in this one.
Tuesday, Asheville police, who had arrested four people at the event, were following up on the incidents. Police posted this statement to their FB page:
During the rally, the following arrests were made on the scene:
– Harry Rivera (5/9/1977) – Simple Affray
– Isis India Rivera (6/1/1998) – Resist, Delay, Obstruct an Officer
– Marissa Rose Moore (1/27/1995) – 2nd Degree Trespassing
– James Thomas Clifton (1/23/1986) – Simple Possession
– Juvenile – 2nd Degree Trespassing and Resist, Delay, Obstruct Officer
We are aware of the additional assault that took place inside of the venue during the rally that is depicted in a video being circulated on social media and on several media outlets. During the incident the victim and witnesses were escorted out of the rally by the Secret Service and Trump’s private security. This morning the Asheville Police Department followed up on the incident and obtained warrants for the suspect, Thomas Vellanti Jr.
We also responded to a report of an assault that took place outside the rally involving an older female victim. Officers responded to that incident, along with EMS, and took statements from the victim and witnesses. Warrants for the suspect, Richard L. Campbell were obtained last night. Following the report, officers gave the victim a ride to her home.
The Asheville Police Department worked diligently to protect both those attending the rally and those exercising their right to protest.
Asheville photographer Stewart O’Shields was there to document it. Take a look.