A number of videos passed around on social media show a teen girl being savagely pepper-sprayed by a stranger during an argument with an adult man. She was protesting, you guessed it, a Trump rally.
The girl, 15, was part of a group demonstrating against GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in Janesville, Wisconsin on Tuesday. Video footage posted to YouTube by user derek94gt, identified by The Washington Post as Derek Hauger, shows her confrontation with a white-haired man, who tells her "You touched me!" She responds, "You were touching my breast." The man denies the groping allegation, and the confrontation escalates, until the girl strikes the man's face and is immediately pepper-sprayed. She and her friends walk away as the crowd whoops and jeers.
In this video, you can see a man wearing a black shirt and red hat spray the girl. He had sidled up to the white-haired man during the course of the argument, and backed away after the assault.
In a separate video,also uploaded to YouTube by Hauger, the girl is shown saying "Black Lives Matter," in response to overwhelming "All Lives Matter" chants.
Others posted photos of the incident to Twitter:
On YouTube, Hauger wrote "I was right next to this and saw the whole thing. The man never touched her like she said. She was just looking for trouble." He said that the "All Lives Matter" video is further proof that she wasn't assaulted. "This was a minute or so before the other video of where she got sprayed," he wrote, adding, "doesnt [sic] look like that man is groping her at all. If this was somebody that groped her why would she stand right next to him not complaining at all?"
The crowd's ecstatic reaction to the assault on the teen girl coincided with the candidate's defense of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, after he was charged with simple battery against reporter Michelle Fields.
Trump insinuated on Twitter that Fields' reaction was overblown, despite the charges against Lewandowski and security footage that corroborated her story.
In a statement, the Janesville Police Department said they are investigating the incident. "A 15 year girl from Janesville was peppered sprayed in the crowd by a non-law enforcement person," the JPD explained, adding that "a 19 year old woman from Madison received 2nd hand spray as well… A male in the crown [sic] groped the 15 year girl, when she pushed him away; another person in the crown [sic] sprayed her. We are currently looking for two suspects, one for the sexual assault and one for the pepper spray."
The assault is the latest in a string of violence committed against Trump protesters. We have a feeling it won't stop here.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.