PHOTOS Political foes rumble at Trump rally in Asheville

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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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.


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Nate September 20, 2016

    Jason: Just out of curiosity, why did you include the photo of the young woman scowling and delivering the double bird twice? Seems like a deliberate editorial choice, given that it’s the most confrontational of the pictures you took . . .

  2. Barry Summers September 20, 2016

    Predictably, Carl Mumpower is upset about all the wrong things. From the AC-T:

    “During the Monday event, Mumpower decried the protesters’ behavior. He circulated a pamphlet with pictures of several female protesters making obscene gestures. When asked about his selection, he said the behavior of women was “most egregious.”

    “It was the women who felt they were in a more permissive environment and could get away with it and did,” he said. “The girls got by with things the guys couldn’t have got by with, and that’s the way it is in our country. That’s not the story. The story is why was that allowed to happen?”
    Activists question safety of Trump rally; plan to sue city

    “First, they’re allowed to show their bazooms, then the middle fingers flop out of their restraints. What’s next? Soon, my wife will want to drive, vote, God knows what else.”

  3. Gina September 16, 2016

    So much anger and violence in the U.S. and the rest of the world. People hating each other. When will it end.

    1. Barry Summers September 20, 2016

      When Trump gets elected & starts lobbing nukes around because his ego demands it. That will cleanse all the anger & hate.

  4. Tim Peck September 16, 2016

    And the false stories just keep crumbling. And in public.

    Was a protester “sucker punched” by a Trump supporter at the rally?

    1. chris September 16, 2016

      “when looking at pictures taken after the incident, Teeter has no visible injuries at all, and looks totally ok.”

      Except of course for the blood on her shirt and the bandage on her arm.

      So no, not debunked, you tinfoil f*ck.

      But continue to justify the cold-cocking of a 69-year-old woman with an oxygen tank. It’s becoming of you. A step up from your bigoted taunting of transgendered people.

      1. Barry Summers September 16, 2016

        Oh, let Mr. Peck go on with this one. It’s cute how he has already forgotten the last time he was proven wildly, embarrassingly wrong, or the time before that. His hate-filled triumphalism is comical, in light of his abysmal track record.

    2. Tim Peck September 21, 2016

      While Teter told WLOS-TV in Asheville that she was punched, Smith maintains her client “reflexively moved his arm to release himself” from Teter’s grip. “She flat-out lied,” Smith said. “(Campbell) is a 73-year-old man on blood thinners. If he punches someone, it’s going to leave a mark. And there was no mark on his hand.”

      Teter is certainly the menace in this story. We have already seen Teter giving a false statement to a police officer. Campbell’s attorney has stated that there will be a lawsuit. I’d like to put her on the witness stand and watch that babbling idiot crumble like she did in the WLOS report.

      Campbell is an elderly blind man who was being led by his wife through a mob of hostile progressive protesters who shouted hateful obscenities directly at him and spat on him. He was just going to a political rally for his favorite politician. He was chased down, while precariously walking through an aggressive gauntlet, by an unknown (to him) assailant and was pushed off of his footing and falsely accused of sucker punching the assailant. I hope they take that oxygen tank and shove it right up her yee-yang.

      1. chris September 21, 2016

        Hilarious, Tim! F*cking hilarious!

        “Chased down”. ZOMFG. Did you even watch the video? To say he was “chased” by a 69-yr-old woman wearing an oxygen tank is just beyond hilarious. It’s a joke, is what it is.

        “Pushed off his footing?” He turned around, Tim! Watch the video. There was no “pushing off his footing”. There was a deliberate turn to hit her.

        But continue to be an Oxygen Tank Truther, Tim! You’re such a wonderful f*cking shill, it makes me weep with joy every time you post.

  5. Barry Summers September 16, 2016

    That clown in that one photo is a little too close to those bronze kiddies for my comfort. Is the APD aware of this guy?

  6. Michael Keenan September 15, 2016

    Nice work Jason

  7. Murphy September 14, 2016

    I have learned that the deplorable Thomas Vellanti who publicly assaulted 3 people (turned himself in to the APD for multiple criminal counts), has lost his employment with Keller Williams Real Estate as a result of his actions in support of Comrade Trump at the rally here on Monday.

  8. Deplorable Infidel September 14, 2016

    Dontcha love just how tolerant asshole liberals are ?

  9. RETUSAF95 September 14, 2016

    Democrats don’t want their welfare to end and illegal aliens don’t want any law enforcement.

  10. Matt September 14, 2016

    Chris, I could see the violence, but where was the “abject racism”?
    Too many from both sides were terribly embarrassing for our community.

  11. Murphy September 14, 2016

    Why were venders allowed to sell Trump Shit without permits?

    Buskers aren’t allowed to sell merchandise on the streets, and brick-and-mortar businesses are required to obtain a City permit and pay a yearly license to operate a business?

    Were taxes charged on this merchandise?

  12. chris September 14, 2016

    “There was plenty of hate and anger on both sides of the ledger in this one.”

    But abject racism and violence on only one.


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