Man arrested at Trump rally with South Dakota’s Noem
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine on Wednesday arrested a man who displayed a knife and a wooden baton at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump where South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was appearing.
Noem spokeswoman Maggie Seidel said Noem’s security detail engaged the man and the Republican governor “was not in harm’s way” at any point.
Peter Beitzell, 58, of Bangor, allegedly exchanged words and harassed those at the rally and at one point brandished a wooden baton and a large fixed-blade knife, said Sgt. Wade Betters of the Bangor Police Department.
Beitzell, who eventually returned to his vehicle and put the weapons away, was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. He posted $200 bail.
Beitzell, who said he doesn’t like Trump, said things went sideways after he flipped off the Trump bus from a distance of about 50 yards (45 meters).
He said he displayed the weapons because he felt threatened by three men who approached him. One turned out to be a South Dakota police officer, but the man refused requests to show a badge, he said.
“Yes, I was an idiot,” Beitzell said. “I was a dummy who pulled a weapon, but there were three of them marching over toward me,” he added.
Noem was part of a Trump campaign tour with stops planned in Maine and New Hampshire. She was traveling with a security detail from the South Dakota Highway Patrol.