Man arrested at Warren event after tussling with MAGA protesters

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks during the first night of the second round of Democratic presidential debates, in Detroit, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

TEMPE, Ariz. — A man was arrested by police Thursday night at an event for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., when he refused to leave after arguing with several members of the AZ Patriots, a conservative group that came to protest the Warren town hall.

The man was handcuffed after he resisted when security at the Marquee Theater asked him to leave. He was forcibly dragged out as reporters filmed.

Jennifer Harrison, a member of the AZ Patriots, said the man tried to grab the cellphone of a group member recording the event. She also said he threatened to hit her. The AZ Patriot’s Facebook page describes them as citizen journalists and activists who “stand boldly for American values and Conservative principals.”

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Members of the group wore red “Make America Great Again” hats at the Warren event and unfurled a Trump flag at some point during their protest.

Police prevented reporters from talking to the man as he stood with an officer outside the theater. Tempe Police Sgt. Kevin Renwick said the man was under arrest and would face charges. “It’s pretty cut and dried,” Renwick told reporters.

Det. Greg Bacon, a spokesman for the Tempe Police Department, confirmed the man would be charged with “assault and disorderly conduct for confronting another subject at the event.”

Harrison said the group came to record Warren’s event and protest “the socialism that she’s peddling.”

She said that Warren’s campaign staff surrounded them when they noticed their MAGA gear. She accused Warren’s staff of being “rude” and holding signs in front of them to prevent them from seeing.

The venue security, she said, then asked their group to leave during the event. “No problem, we left peacefully, no problem,” she said. “We respect the law.”

But as the group was being escorted out of the theater, she said a man became angry with them and tried to grab one of her associate’s phones. Later, when the man was outside, she said he “came after me and tried to take a swing at me.”

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“Liberals cannot keep their hands to themselves at these events,” she said. “They see a Make America Great Again hat and they become unglued.”

Roughly 3,500 people attended Warren’s event here, according to staff. Unlike her typical town hall she didn’t take any questions from the audience. Warren told reporters that she chose not to do so because the weather was warm.

As always, she stayed well after giving her speech to take photos with supporters.

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