Donald Trump’s rally in San Jose, California, Thursday night was marred by violence by anti-Trump protesters, who attacked the event’s attendees and police.
At least four people were taken into custody, though police didn’t release total arrest figures Thursday night. One officer was assaulted, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.
The protesters, many of them waving the Mexican flag, surrounded the San Jose Convention Center and attacked Trump supporters. More than a dozen people were spit on, assaulted or punched, resulting in bloody injuries, as depicted in the video below:
One woman initially appeared to be happily posing in her Trump football jersey in front of the crowd, but she was suddenly cornered, spat on, and pelted with eggs and water bottles. An object struck her in the eye before a bystander came to her aid and whisked her inside the convention center.
The protesters also burned American flags and Trump campaign memorabilia.
Lan Hoang said anti-Trump protesters stole his “Make America Great Again” hat off of his head and set it on fire as he was leaving the rally. He told NBC News he saw “a lot” of Trump supporters being attacked as he walked back to his car.
“It was unbelievable,” Steve Tong told NBC Bay Area. “I’ve never seen anything like that in America before.”
Another Trump supporter was struck hard over the side of the head as he was walking away from a group of protesters. The attack left him with blood streaming down his head and onto his shirt.
“I was walking out with a Trump sign and he grabbed my Trump sign, saying I was like a racist and stuff,” the man told bystanders and local media. “Then he followed me, like, spit on me.”
Some banged on the cars of Trump supporters as they left the rally and chased after those on foot while hurling eggs. Rioters were kicking, shaking and breaking taillights on vehicles.
The violent mob also taunted riot-gear wearing police and damaged law-enforcement vehicles. As about 200 police officers began marching in lines pushing the crowd out of downtown San Jose, some protesters hurled objects at them, including street signs and empty cans.
“Our police officers have done an extremely courageous and professional job so far,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told the Associated Press.
“We’re all still holding our breath to see the outcome of this dangerous and explosive situation,” he added.
The Democrat mayor, a Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump, accusing the Republican candidate of inciting the violence.
“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” Liccardo said.
Marcus DiPaola, a freelance photographer following the Trump campaign, posted video of someone getting sucker punched face, reported the Washington Post.
DiPaola said he told a police officer about the beating but was told the city “didn’t have the manpower” to intervene.
DiPaola said he called 9-1-1 but was put on hold, so he hung up.
“Morons,” he said. “How do you not staff 9-1-1 for an event of this size?”
Before the event, police issued a press release saying it “recognizes and respects everyone’s right to express their First Amendment [rights], and we will do everything possible to ensure the event is safe for all attendees and surrounding neighborhoods.”
Most protesters said they were upset with Trump’s immigration positions, reported CBS News. Some said they were Bernie Sanders supporters.
Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta took to Twitter to condemn violence against “supporters of any candidate.”
Before the violence outside the convention center kicked into high gear, supporters of Trump listened to the presumptive Republican nominee go after Clinton, just hours after the Democratic presidential hopeful gave a long speech on foreign policy Trump described as “pathetic” and “sad to watch.”
“I watched Hillary today, it was pathetic,” Trump said. “It was pathetic. It was so sad to watch and you know she’s up there and supposed to be a foreign policy speech, it was a political speech.”