A 78-year-old White man attending a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina was arrested and charged Thursday with assault after punching a Black Lives Matter protester in the face.
John McGraw was at the Wednesday night event with several other zealous supporters of the Republican presidential hopeful when he threw the punch, WTVR reports.
McGraw was charged with two counts of assault and disorderly conduct after video images of the punch went viral. Due to the quick work of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, they were able to obtain McGraw’s identity and make the arrest.
After the rally, McGraw was interviewed by Inside Edition, telling them that the man “deserved it.”
“Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization,” he says on the video.
McGraw appears in the video to punch a black protester in the face as he was being escorted out of the venue with a group of protesters by a half-dozen police officers. The incident occurred during Trump’s rally Wednesday night in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The department has also opened an internal investigation probing whether the officers in the video, who did not detain or arrest McGraw on site, should have done so, Swain said.
McGraw’s bond was set at $2,500 secured, and his next court date is April 6.
Donald Trump’s campaign refused to comment on the incident.
McGraw’s arrest adds to a continuing trend of intolerance from Trump supporters when protesters enter rallies or gathering where the mogul is campaigning.
It is also the first time a Trump supporter has been formally charged after similar assaults captured on video have failed to yield arrests.
Rakeem Jones, the 26-year-old African American man who was assaulted, told The Washington Post that the punch “came out of nowhere.”