Secret Service agents rushed Donald Trump offstage on Saturday evening during a rally in Reno, Nevada after they determined a protester in the audience might pose a threat to the Republican presidential candidate.
“Go! Go!” agents shouted as they whisked Trump away and a combination of local police and private security wrestled Austyn Crites, 33, to the ground in the front of the crowd.
Crites was identified as a Republican who supports Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to his Facebook page.
A senior Trump campaign official told DailyMail.com that the suspect, whom rally-goers already identified as an anti-Trump protester, caused a panic when he reached into his waistband.
At that point, the campaign official said, a voice called out: ‘He’s got a gun!’
Trump’s protective detail sprang into action, pulling him offstage as a sea of bodies scattered, screams rang out and authorities dragged Crites away as he kicked and strained.
The U.S. Secret Service said in a statement that ‘a commotion’ had occurred ‘in the crowd immediately in front of the stage’ and ‘an unidentified individual shouted, “gun”.’
Secret Service agents and Reno police officers immediately apprehended the subject.
Upon a thorough search of the subject and the surrounding area, no weapon was found,’ the statement added.
Just before the fracas, Trump could be seen shielding his eyes from the lights in order to peer into the crowd as a struggle broke out.
Three agents then stormed the stage and hustled the Republican presidential candidate away.
Crites, who has since been released, appeared on local newscasts saying he had merely been holding a sign that read ‘Republicans Against Trump.’
When he reached into his waistband, however, police and good Samaritans took the man down.
The crowd surged backward in fright and strained against metal barriers enclosing the press section.
“CNN sucks!’ one man yelled. “You people caused this!”
Federal agents and tactical officers from Reno Police removed the man from the rally on Saturday.