Bernie Sanders may have lost big on Super Tuesday, but at least his partisans got to cheer a seemingly peaceful supporter of President Donald Trump supporter getting tackled by security at a campus rally in Virginia on Saturday for reasons that are under dispute.
And the Sanders crowd appreciated it, too, judging by the cheering that can be heard in the video.
According to WAVY-TV, Markus Gohring attended the rally at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach as a counter-protester.
“I’m not an aggressive person,” he told the TV station. “I wanted to tell the people that go there that I’m not with them.”
The Trump-Pence 2020 flag was a pretty good indicator that, no, he wasn’t feeling the Bern.
Campus security approached Gohring and told him he’d have to leave the private university’s campus.
“I didn’t know who he was, what his authority is and so I asked who authorizes you to [say] I have to go off-grounds,” Gohring told the station.
“We have a little discussion, but he was not approachable in any way.”
Gohring says that after the dialogue with the security guard, he decided to leave. Video shows him being followed by the guard, however.
“He approached me then from behind and the rest is [on] video,” Gohring said.
The video shows the guard grabbing Gohring’s flag and then physically dragging him to the ground.
“I saw he was pulling a weapon and that’s when I ran,” Gohring said.
“It was a matter of getting that Trump flag off of that campus property,” Gohring’s attorney Tim Anderson told WAVY. “That was the 100 percent motivation of that campus security guard.”
Anderson posted a longer video of the incident on Facebook that was apparently taken by a Sanders supporter. Check it out here, but be warned, there’s some rough language involved.
Gohring is currently exploring the possibility of legal action, Anderson told WAVY.
Virginia Wesleyan spokeswoman Stephanie Smalgo disputed Gohring’s narrative of events, however.
“The Bernie Sanders campaign rented a venue on the private property of Virginia Wesleyan University for the site of its February 29 rally. The University, the Virginia Beach Police Department, and private security staff with the Sanders campaign worked diligently to maintain public safety and security,” she said in a statement.
“A video circulating on social media shows a security officer engaged in an altercation with a disruptive attendee in the parking lot prior to the rally. Unfortunately, the video does not depict the preceding actions of the individual that necessitated the officer to take action. Virginia Wesleyan University holds freedom of speech and open dialogue at the deepest core of its values.
“However, when the conversation turns to physical violence and becomes a threat to public safety, it will not be tolerated on our campus.”
It’s not clear what the “disruptive” behavior was or whether it involved violence or threats of violence. Gohring appears reluctant but peaceful in the video. If there is footage of him being violent out there, it hasn’t surfaced in the interim. He doesn’t appear to have been charged with any crime.
It apparently gave Bernie’s supporters in the Old Dominion something to cheer about, though — at least by the sound of things on the video.
Virginia was part of a Southern sweep by Biden on Tuesday after his Saturday victory in the South Carolina primary.
The lowest percentage of the vote the former vice president got below the Mason-Dixon Line was 40.5 percent in Arkansas. In Virginia, with 99 percent of the vote in, the former vice president had 53.3 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 23.1 percent, according to the Washington Examiner.
Even in North Carolina, where Sanders had spent a fair amount of time and money, Biden still was leading 42.9 percent to 24.1 percent with 87 percent of the vote tallied, the Examiner reported.
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