Anaheim, April 27: Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump clashed outside City Hall, and five people, including two little girls, were pepper-sprayed by a demonstrator during the heated confrontation, police said.
No serious injuries and no arrests were reported in the clash yesterday as about 50 people confronted each other in the Orange County community. Backers waving US flags and pro-Trump signs were met by opponents and a shouting match began.
At one point, an opponent unleashed a hand-held pepper-spray device on the pro-Trump crowd. Five people, including two girls ages 8 and 11, were exposed to the eye-stinging spray, police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
Three were treated at the scene by paramedics. The man fled, but police were looking for him, Wyatt said. One woman wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat comforted the girls, whose faces were streaked with tears.
The girls complained that their eyes and mouths hurt. "I can feel it now, it's pungent," the woman, Lilia Zapatos, told KNBC-TV minutes after she was sprayed. Linda Reedy of Laguna Niguel, a member of the pro-Trump group We the People Rising, pressed an ice pack to her face after being hit by the spray.
The anti-Trump group goaded her and her friends, and one man jumped on one of her friends, she said. "I just think they're so out of control," Reedy told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm so sick of the anger in this country."
The confrontation occurred before the City Council was expected to discuss a proposed resolution to condemn what the resolution called Trump's divisive rhetoric.
The motion said Trump's remarks which have been perceived as offensive to Mexican immigrants, Muslims and other groups are contrary to Constitutional principles and don't reflect Anaheim's "guiding principles of inclusiveness and kindness." But Reedy told the Orange County Register that she considers the resolution as "un-American." "I'm a Trump supporter, but I'm here to support free speech," she said.
"Anaheim has more important things to worry about. What she's doing is un-American." The clash came as Trump scored a five-state East Coast sweep Tuesday to embolden his hopes of clinching the Republican presidential nomination without a battle at the convention.