Published April 28, 2016
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Saturday encountered more violence on the campaign trail when somebody got too close to the front-runner at an Ohio rally and Secret Service agents rushed the stage, one day after violence forced Trump to cancel a rally in Chicago.
A rally in Missouri later Saturday evening was also interrupted numerous times by protesters.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said a man tried to breach the security buffer at the Dayton, Ohio event and that he was removed “rapidly and professionally."
Those attending the large, boisterous rally, at an airport outside Dayton cheered “Trump, Trump, Trump” during the brief episode in which four agents surrounded the candidate.
Trump returned to the campaign trail Saturday by ignoring calls for him to take responsibility for the violence that cancelled the Chicago rally and instead blamed left wing rivals and “wise guys” for the “planned” and “professionally-staged” protests.
“My people are nice. My people are great,” Trump told the Ohio crowd. “Don’t let them rip you away from your position. These are bad people. These are people who don’t want to make America great again."
The person who tried to rush the stage has been identified as Thomas Dimassimo of Fairborn, Ohio.
Dimassimo has been charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct, said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.
Later Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., Trump's third rally of the day was interrupted within the first few minutes by at least seven individuals or groups of protesters.
"I think they're Bernie [Sanders] supporters," Trump said of the protesters, pointing to at least one protester the Republican frontrunner said was holding a sign in support of the Democratic presidential candidate.
"Just bad people--so bad for our country," Trump said, echoing a sentiment he made earlier in Dayton.
After about fifteen minutes of interruptions, Trump was able to continue with his stump speech.
Later in his speech, Trump declared that going forward, all protesters should be arrested and charged accordingly.
"The only way to stop the craziness is to press charges," Trump said.
Trump’s GOP rivals this weekend have attempted to hold Trump responsible for the campaign chaos, as they try to stop him from winning the GOP nomination.
“This is frightening,” candidate and Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said Saturday before the Ohio event. “Leadership has never been about taking people’s anger and getting them to vote for you.”
Rubio also suggested he’s now unsure whether he could support Trump if he becomes the party nominee.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Saturday that Trump is “creating a toxic environment."
“I hope he’ll knock this off and stop trying to divide us,” Kasich also said, ahead of essentially make-or-break primaries Tuesday in Florida and Ohio.
Trump also held an event Saturday in Cleveland that was more subdued but nevertheless briefly interrupted by protestors. And he is scheduled to hold another Saturday evening in Missouri.
The Trump campaign has denied rumors about having cancelled an event this weekend in Cincinnati.
The violence at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion appeared to break out after the candidate cancelled his appearance, amid angry protests inside and outside the venue. Five people reportedly were arrested.
While Rubio pressed Trump to condemn the violence, he also acknowledged that Trump is being denied his free-speech rights and that some of the Chicago protesters could have been paid.
Trump said that professionally-made signs suggest the protests were professionally organized. And at least one liberal group has reportedly acknowledged using its listserv to encourage protestors to attend the event.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has the second most delegates in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, on Friday accused Trump of inciting the restlessness that was seen in Chicago and other events.
A white male Trump supporter punched a black protestor at a recent event in Fayetteville, N.C.
“Any campaign that disrespects the voters and a campaign that encourages violence … you create an environment that encourages this,” Cruz said.
Cruz was speaking to reporters at a Republican dinner in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and warned that violence at these rallies weren’t going to stop.
“The candidate urges violence to punch people in the face. This is not going to be the last incident,” he said. “This is not how our politics should occur.”
Rubio on Friday argued that such violence does not occur at his rallies nor at those for Cruz, Kasich and Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump on Friday defended his decision to cancel the Chicago rally, saying he didn’t want to see “people get hurt.”
Speaking later with Fox News, Trump said he arrived in Chicago two hours before the event and that about 25,000 people were trying to enter the arena.
He said he made the decision to cancell after meeting with law enforcement authorities. Trump also said his First Amendment rights had been violated.
Hours earlier, Trump supporters and opponents stood calmly in a line together waiting to get inside. Police horses and barricades kept the bulk of the demonstrators across the street.
Trump opponents were protesting what they called his divisive comments, particularly about Muslims and Mexicans. Dozens of UIC faculty and staff had petitioned university administrators to cancel the rally, citing concerns it would create a "hostile and physically dangerous environment."
At one point, nearly 20 officers who had been manning barricades suddenly bolted for an intersection across a street bridge over a freeway -- where protesters shouted at and jostled with police already there. An officer was seen walking from that intersection with blood on his head. A police spokesman said later that he couldn't provide details.
Fox News' Jason Donner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.