Donald Trump protester Thomas Dimassimo has been charged in federal court for rushing the Republican candidate on a stage in Dayton, Ohio. The 22-year-old Wright State University student had an illegal entry on restricted grounds charge levied against him.
Thomas Dimassimo posted a series of threatening tweets about Donald Trump before he tried to jump onto the stage and was tackled by Secret Service agents, MSN reports. Due to the nature and tone of the social media posts, some have called for far more stringent charges to be levied against the Trump protester.
Dimassimo is reportedly a Bernie Sander supporter who feels Trump spouts racist ideology and is dangerous for the nation.
The charge levied against the Donald Trump protester is only a misdemeanor. If convicted, Dimassimo could spend up to one year behind bars, ABC News reports. The attorney for the stage rusher claims that it was “clear” his client meant no harm to the Republican front-runner and was merely “expressing is political views.”
“It’s clear that Thomas is simply a college student who, in his mind, was simply engaging in a form of political speech and making a statement, in his own mind,” attorney Jon Paul Rion said.
Photos of a man identified as the Trump protester are now being widely circulated on Twitter. The poster claims the Dayton stage rusher is a Georgia native. In the tweeted image below, Dimassimo appears to be shown getting into a heated argument with people waving or wearing the Confederate flag at some type of public event.
Thomas Dimassimo, the man who was arrested for rushing the stage at a Donald Trump rally, is from Powder Springs, GA pic.twitter.com/zriiCblcYj
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) March 14, 2016
The lawyer also maintained that no jail time should be given to the man who charged at a United States presidential candidate, the Dayton Daily News notes. If any type of weapon had been found on Dimassimo, he would have faced additional charges that could have landed him in a prison cell for a decade.
Viral photos of Dimassimo standing on an American flag have infuriated not only Trump supporters but patriotic citizens on both sides of the political aisle. Additional photos of a man identified as the Donald Trump stage rusher appear to show the college student standing on the flag in different locations. One image is reportedly from an April 2015 “anti-racism” protest, where the accused is standing on Old Glory while waving a sign which reads, “Not My Flag.”
— Mark F. (@immigrant4trump) March 15, 2016
“No jail is necessary in a case like this. And probation or a fine is another way to resolve the matter as well,” Rion said. “He was not armed. He made no threats. He was compliant with law enforcement and has been respectful since that time.”
Rion also told the media that allegations his client is a member of ISIS or a sympathizer of the Islamic State are entirely false. The attorney feels Dimassimo has a bright future ahead and does not want the Trump rally incident to be the one thing he is remembered for.
Thomas Dimassimo is a reportedly a senior and acting major at Wright State University. The Trump protester was released from custody after his arrest. He will appear at a hearing on the charges on March 23.
What do you think about the charges levied against Donald Trump protester Thomas Dimassimo?
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP]