Following a heated four-hour City Council meeting Tuesday to consider formally denouncing GOP front runner Donald Trump, clashes between anti and pro-Trump supporters broke out with things turning violent. Witnesses said obscenities were hurled and pepper spray was fired.
Anaheim, one of the most diverse and largest cities in Orange County, California is the first city in the country to consider formally denouncing Trump.
No serious injuries and no arrests were reported in Tuesday's clash as about 50 people confronted each other during the meeting.
Backers waving U.S. flags and pro-Trump signs were met by opponents and a shouting match began before a City Council meeting where an anti-Trump resolution had been proposed that the council eventually chose to take no action on.
At one point, an opponent unleashed a hand-held pepper-spray device on the pro-Trump crowd
Five people, including two girls ages 8 and 11, were exposed to the eye-stinging spray, police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said. Three were treated at the scene by paramedics.
The man fled, but police were looking for him, Wyatt said.
One woman wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat comforted the girls, whose faces were streaked with tears. The girls complained that their eyes and mouths hurt.
"I can feel it now, it's pungent," the woman, Lilia Zapatos, told KNBC-TV minutes after she was sprayed.
Linda Reedy of Laguna Niguel, a member of the pro-Trump group We the People Rising, pressed an ice pack to her face after being hit by the spray.
The anti-Trump group goaded her and her friends, and one man jumped on one of her friends, she said.
"I just think they're so out of control," Reedy told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm so sick of the anger in this country."
The confrontation occurred before the City Council discussed a resolution proposed by one councilwoman condemning what it called Trump's divisive rhetoric.
Raul Rodriguez Jr., the state coordinator of the pro-Trump group America First Latinos, told The Los Angeles Times Trump is a “humanitarian,” and: “He cares about this great country of ours.”
The motion said Trump's remarks — which have been perceived as offensive to Mexican immigrants, Muslims and other groups — are contrary to Constitutional principles and don't reflect Anaheim's "guiding principles of inclusiveness and kindness."
The arguments from outside continued during the public comment period inside, but remained civil as the meeting stretched for hours into the night. Eventually the council voted 3-2 to take no action on the resolution.
The clash came as Trump scored a five-state East Coast sweep Tuesday to embolden his hopes of clinching the Republican presidential nomination without a battle at the convention.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.