A 15-year-old girl protesting a Donald Trump rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday was groped before being pepper-sprayed in the face by a Trump supporter, police said.
In a video widely circulated by social media, the teenage girl, whose name has been withheld due to her age, is seen accusing an older man with grey hair and a mustache of touching her breast. After a short argument in which the man denies the assault, the girl pushes or punches the man. A third individual, described in reports as a Trump supporter, then unleashes a burst of orange pepper spray directly into the girl’s eyes, and the caustic mist strikes several other people.
“We are currently looking for two suspects, one for the sexual assault and one for the pepper spray.”
The man who allegedly sexually assaulted the girl and the person who fired the pepper-spray are currently wanted by police. According Janesville Police Department, the 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman received medical attention at local hospitals.
“A 15 year girl from Janesville was peppered sprayed in the crowd by a non-law enforcement person,” the department said in a statement. “… A male in the crowd groped the 15-year-old girl. When she pushed him away; another person in the [crowd] sprayed her. We are currently looking for two suspects, one for the sexual assault and one for the pepper spray.”
No photo of the punch, but here's a photo of the pepper spray. Woman received medical treatment, police said. pic.twitter.com/1EOyBbAWQz
— Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) March 29, 2016
A second video of the incident uploaded to YouTube shows the 15-year-old girl and the older man arguing amid a crowd of protesters chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump.”At roughly 80 seconds into the footage, the man apparently moves his hand towards the girl’s chest several times while gripping a sheet of paper. She yells out, “Stop fucking touching me.”
As the argument continues, someone in the crowd is heard mocking the girl: “Stop touching me.” After the she reaches up and either punches or pushes the older man in the face, a younger man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and sunglasses quickly sprays her in the face before backing up into the crowd; in a third video, he’s heard yelling: “Stop doing crime, blacks, stop doing crime.”
As the girl walks away soaked in pepper spray, the older man with the grey hair is seen laughing.
Trump’s rallies have become something of a magnet for violent outbursts, with Trump supporters and protesters alike exchanging blows. On Tuesday, Florida authorities charged Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, with simple battery for yanking the arm of a then-Breitbart News reporter—a charge he denies, though surveillance footage shows Lewandowski grabbing the woman.
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump, who’s notorious for addressing and occasionally inflaming such incidents on Twitter, has thus far remained silent about the pepper-spayed girl.
Trump has been heavily criticized in the press for “encouraging violence”. At a February rally in South Carolina, he invited two men on stage after they “took action” against a protester by tackling him. After a Black Lives Matter protester was reportedly beaten at an Alabama rally in November, Trump applauded. “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said during a Sunday morning interview on Fox & Friends.
Screencap via YouTube.