Columbus, OH — At a rally in Columbus, Ohio today, over a dozen witnesses say they saw Donald Trump punch an elderly blind man in the face. The alleged assault occurred as Trump was leaving The Greater Columbus Convention Center after a speech the presidential candidate had given to a crowd of 7,500 people.
Tom Downey with the Columbus Police Department, spoke with CBS News and a group of reporters about the incident.
“At this time, no charges have been brought against Mr. Trump,” Downey said. “We are not releasing the name of the victim at this time, but can say the man is in stable condition at Riverside Methodist Hospital. Our detectives are currently interviewing witnesses and attempting to find any video footage of the assault. At this time, this is an ongoing investigation.”
32-year-old Sarah Bradley, who witnessed the assault, told local news station WBNS about the incident.
“This blind man, with a cane, approached Trump after his speech. I saw him with a smile on his face, reaching out, trying to shake Trump’s hand. That is when Trump brushed him off and used his fist to punch this poor man right in the face. The man with the cane immediately fell backwards, hitting his head on the ground and that is when blood started coming from his nose. Trump didn’t even stop, or acknowledge the man, he just kept going, leaving with his entourage and security. A few minutes later, paramedics showed up and carried the man away. It was absolutely horrific and Trump should be ashamed of himself.”
This incident comes just days after Trump ridiculed Serge Kovaleski, a reporter with the New York Times, who suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital joint condition which limits movement in his arms.
“Now, the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: ‘Uh, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember,’” Trump said, as he contorted his arms, mocking Kovaleski.
On Thursday, a Trump campaign spokesman said, “Trump does not know anything about the reporter or anything about what the reporter looks like.” But that reporter, Serge Kovaleski, told the New York Times, “Donald and I were on a first-name basis for years.”The
Last week, in Birmingham, Alabama, Trump suggested that the half-dozen white attendees at his campaign rally reacted appropriately when they shoved, tackled, punched and kicked a black protester who disrupted his speech.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump told Fox News, less than 24 hours after his campaign said it “does not condone” the physical altercation.
The protester, 31-year-old Black Lives Matter activist Mercutio Southall, said the attendees who attacked him also called him and two fellow protestors “monkeys” and the N-word.
Political analyst, Paul Horner, spoke to CBS News about the Trump campaign and its followers.
“It is truly sad about the current state of our country, when a racist, egomaniac, bigoted, violent man such as Donald Trump can be leading in the polls as the Republican candidate for the GOP nomination. Trump is pouring gasoline on a country that the media has already instilled with fear, paranoia, intolerance and hate. In years to come, we will look back on these events as some of the darkest times in our nation’s history.”
A spokesman for Trump’s campaign issued the following statement about the alleged assault in Columbus:
“We are currently working in full cooperation with the fine men and women of The Columbus Police Department to resolve this matter. As this is an ongoing investigation, that is all we can say at the moment.”