A Fairborn man who attempted to get on the stage at Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Vandalia said he didn’t intend to harm the presidential candidate. He only wanted to send a message.
Thomas Dimassimo, 22, told police his actions were not spontaneous, according to a Dayton police report. He gave his keys to his girlfriend to take his car home before the rally, according to the report.
“… I’m unafraid,” Dimassimo said, during a CNN interview on Sunday. “If I can be unafraid enough to go take his podium away from him, then we all can be unafraid enough to not let this man walk into the White House.”
Dimassimo told police he planned to run onto the stage, take the microphone and yell, “Donald Trump is a racist.”
Dimassimo, using the Twitter handle @younglionking17, announced his plan on social media and said he was trying to “snag the mic” from Trump and “plead his case” in front of Trump supporters.
Dimassimo also denied he had any connection to ISIS during Sunday’s CNN interview.
“I have no known ties to ISIS,” Dimassimo said. “I’ve never been out of the country. I only speak English.”
Trump used Twitter to broadcast a YouTube video of Dimassimo and accuse him of having ties to ISIS.
Secret Service agents reported Dimassimo grabbed a man and pulled him out of his way before he jumped the metal fence and ran toward the stage, according to the police report.
Secret Service agents stopped Dimassimo about four feet from the stage. One agent busted his nose when he fell on top of Dimassimo while trying to handcuff him, according to the police report.
Trump stopped his speech during the commotion and was immediately surrounded by four Secret Service agents. After about 30 seconds, Trump returned to the podium and shook his head.
Trump later posted a tweet Saturday thanking the Secret Service.
“Thank you for the warning. I was ready for him, but it’s much easier if the cops do it for me, don’t we agree?”
The incident at Trump’s rally on Saturday, was Dimassimo’s most recent protest. In April 2015, then a Wright State University junior, he helped lead an anti-racism protest that included students standing on American flags and holding signs saying, “Not my flag.”