Man Charged with Assault After Punching Visitor at Trump’s Minneapolis Rally

October 24, 2019 Updated: October 24, 2019

Police in Minneapolis used media video footage to identify and charge an assailant after a man was punched in the face as he left President Donald Trump’s rally in Minneapolis on Oct. 10.

31-year-old Dwight P. Lewis of Richfield, Minneapolis, appeared before Hennepin County District Court on Oct. 23 on charges of third-degree assault. Lewis was remanded in custody with bail set at $40,000 ahead of his next court appearance.

A 22-year-old man had gone to police the day after the rally to report that he had been punched in the mouth by a man as he left the event, and that the injuries he sustained had required a number of stitches.

Police subsequently obtained news media footage of the alleged assault and were able to identify Lewis, who was known to them. Lewis turned himself in to police on Oct. 21, and admitted punching the man.

President Trump’s rally in Minneapolis had drawn massive crowds of supporters as well as a substantial number of protestors. According to the President’s campaign manager for the 2020 presidential campaign, Brad Parscale, over 20,000 Trump supporters were in attendance at the rally, with thousands more gathered outside.

However, riot police had been deployed to create a barrier between those visiting the rally and the substantial numbers of protestors outside. Some protestors were burning items including an American flag, pro-Trump paraphernalia, and MAGA hats.

A number of other unsavory incidents occurred outside the rally. One such incident occurred during an interview with a Trump supporter by Elizabeth Landers of Vice News, when a passing protestor spat in the face of her interviewee. Landers said: “I interview a lot of the President’s supporters at rallies & have never seen this before.”

Donald Trump was approximately 45,000 votes short of defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Minnesota in the 2016 race. His staff has been building a network in the state since June in an effort to turn out supporters in November 2020. The Trump campaign has said it will spend tens of millions of dollars in order to win the state.

Janita Kan and Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.