Man with gun at rally ‘wanted to harm’ Trump
LAS VEGAS — The man arrested for trying to disarm a police officer inside a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas Saturday told authorities he intended to use the gun to harm Trump, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
Police arrested the 19-year-old after he attempted to pull a police officer’s gun from its holster inside a Las Vegas theater where Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, was holding a campaign rally.
Police said Michael Sandford struck up a conversation with a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer under the pretense that he was seeking to get an autograph. During the conversation, police said Sandford tried to pull the officer’s service weapon from its holster. Other officers also assigned to provide security at the event were quickly able to detain Sandford and authorities said there was no further disruption to the event.
Trump is under U.S. Secret Service protection but local law enforcement often supplements them at campaign events.
The Secret Service says it has charged Sandford with violating two federal laws following the incident, including assault, and he could face up to a decade in prison if convicted.
Many of Trump’s rallies throughout the campaign have been contentious, with protests both inside and outside the events. Secret Service agents had to run to Trump’s side during a campaign rally earlier this year in Ohio to protect him against a man attempting to rush the stage during his remarks.
Sandford is still in custody as he awaits a court appearance. The Secret Service said other charges are still pending and the incident remains under investigation.