CINCINNATI (FOX19) - President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made their case for re-election before a crowd of thousands at U.S. Bank Arena Downtown Thursday night.
The president called it a “record crowd” with nearly every one of the 17,500 seats filled as demonstrators held protests a few blocks away outside, denouncing him.
Punches were thrown outside U.S. Bank Arena as Trump addressed the crowd, defending his record and attacking Democrats for what he said were their destructive record for inner cities.
Though many of the protests were peaceful, this one turned violent, forcing Cincinnati police to intervene in the 200 block of Broadway Street.
Dallas Frazier, 29, of Georgetown, Kentucky, was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge and escorted away in handcuffs.
He was taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center, where he was booked and held overnight without bond.
He appeared before a judge Friday afternoon and was granted a $10,000 bond at 10 percent, meaning he only has to pay $1,000 to be released.
“Victim stated suspect exited a vehicle, stated ‘You want some’ then struck the victim multiple times in the face causing visible injuries and breaking victim’s glasses,” Cincinnati police wrote in Frazier’s criminal complaint.
The victim, Matt Alter, went to Christ Hospital to get checked out. After, he told FOX19 NOW he was punched six times in the face.
Alter said he was with anti-Trump protesters and the man who hit him pulled up in a truck, didn’t like what he had to say and started attacking him.
“I was standing with a group of people around and the truck pulled up. He was yelling at people. People yelling back anti Trump stuff whatever, nothing specific and he just started getting violent and I’m like come on guy,” Alter said.
Alter says he was told by people he was with that Frazier had circled the area around the protesters a few times before stopping, but Alter hadn’t seen him.
He says Frazier should have driven away if he didn’t like what was being said by protesters.
“What is wrong with you, really this is America there’s still freedom of speech. It doesn’t matter and I didn’t say anything it doesn’t matter. This is freedom of speech you can say what you want,” Alter said.
“Even if you say something bad to somebody that doesn’t give them the right to start hitting on you."
Meanwhile, inside the rally, thousands who waited hours in the hot sun to see the president packed the arena when doors opened at 4 p.m.
Before he came in, there were speeches from his son, Donald Trump, Jr., Gov. Mike DeWine and Vice President Mike Pence.
Other prominent Republicans who turned out to support him were Ohio Reps. Steve Chabot and Brad Wenstrup and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
Trump entered the arena around 7:30 p.m. as Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA" played.
The venue took on a concert-like atmosphere, with some yelling and screaming as he made his way to the podium.
Trump slammed Democrats, making several remarks about the round of debates this week between Democratic presidential candidates.
“Democrats spent more time talking about (former President Barack) Obama then they did me,” he said.
He decried the homicide rates in the Democrat-led cities of Baltimore and Chicago and said his opponents would rather support illegal immigrants than their own communities.
Trump also touted his trade policies with China after announcing earlier in the day he would impose a 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports he hasn’t already taxed.
“We’re stopping the theft of American jobs,” he said., later adding “Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the hell out of China.”
Protesters interrupted Trump twice.
He stood by and waited for the disruptions to stop, remaining silent as the crowd chanted“Build that wall” and “U-S-A.”
After protesters were led out, he asked the crowd: “Do you have a Democrat mayor? Well, that’s what happens.”
The rally was Trump’s first since Democrats denounced “Send her back” chants referring to Somali-born Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar at a Greenville, North Carolina rally earlier this month.
He mostly avoided the racial controversy related to her and three other liberal congresswomen of color. His brief mention that “the Democratic party is now being led by four left-wing extremists who reject everything we hold dear” did not lead to that chant here.
Earlier, the president landed at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron before making his way Downtown.
He was greeted at CVG by Cincinnati police’s union leader, Sgt. Dan Hils, and a Michael Logue of Clermont County, a former U.S. Marine Corps corporal who is a survivor of Lima Company’s 2005 Iraqi deployment.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered outside the Freedom Center to oppose Trump’s political views.
There were many messages conveyed to the crowd, the main one being a desire to see someone else in the Oval Office after the 2020 election.
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval was just one of the many speakers opposing Trump’s rally.
However, Pureval described the event as a celebration of what he believes Cincinnati’s values are rather than a counter-protest.