During President Trump’s Harrisburg, Pa. rally marking his 100th day in office on Saturday, an attendee named Neil Makhija says he was surrounded by Trump supporters and “shoved up against the wall” after being wrongly identified as a protester.
“It was a disturbing moment,” said Makhija speaking to AOL.com, who says multiple Trump supporters wearing “Bikers for Trump” shirts cornered him while he was listening to the president’s speech. Video of an altercation at the New Holland Arena in the Farm Show and Expo Center shows a group of men surrounding Makhija, pushing him while shoving pro-Trump signs in front of his face.
According to Makhija, the incident began when a person standing next to him was being removed from the rally after holding up a sign that read, “The sea levels are rising.”
“Then a supporter just pointed at me and said, ‘Hey, take that guy too,’ and they went after me,” said Makhija who denies knowing the protesters and says he was not at the rally to cause problems but rather to listen to the president’s speech.
Multiple protesters were removed from the rally throughout the president’s speech.
Makhija, a Harvard-educated lawyer and a former Democratic candidate for state House added, “I’m not saying it’s cause the way I look, but they just don’t want anyone here who’s not vehemently supportive.” Makhija is also a resident of Carbon County, Pennsylvania.
Law enforcement stepped in as Trump supporters pushed Makhija towards the exit. He was then escorted out of the arena briefly before returning to the rally once police assessed the situation.
“We see a issue and we just help out,” said a man who did not provide his name but was wearing a “Bikers for Trump” and was involved in the altercation. “I don’t know what happened over there … I don’t know the facts. Ask him, he knows all about it,” he while pointing to Makhija.
Makhija admits he’s not a Trump supporter, but he insists he came to Saturday’s rally with an open mind. “I’m not a protester, I actually pay attention and wanted to see the president when he came back.”
“I wanted to see if he actually said something about the opioid issue — he hasn’t said anything at all,” said Makhija.