Bangor police charged a man with criminal threatening and disorderly conduct Wednesday after he reportedly pulled out a knife and a baton during a Trump campaign rally attended by South Dakota’s governor.


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, photographed March 18, “had to be whisked away by her security detail” during Wednesday’s incident in Bangor, according to a South Dakota newspaper. Jeff Easton/Rapid City Journal via AP

According to the Bangor police, 58-year-old Peter Beitzell of Bangor had been “harassing and exchanging words” with attendees of a get-out-the-vote rally for President Trump. The rally, which was held outside a Bangor strip mall, featured South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Trump campaign senior adviser Corey Lewandowski and Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks.

Beitzell reportedly “moved toward the crowd while brandishing a wooden baton and a large, fixed-blade knife” after becoming upset when approached by security officers, according to a news release from the Bangor Police Department. He also allegedly ignored security officers’ instructions to put the weapons away and walked toward one of the officers before returning to his vehicle. After being called to the scene because of the incident, Bangor officers arrested Beitzell and transported him to the Penobscot County Jail.

One South Dakota newspaper, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, reported that Noem “had to be whisked away by her security detail” during the Bangor rally. Noem is accompanied by South Dakota state troopers while traveling.

Beitzell was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. He was released after posting $200 cash bail. There were no injuries during the incident, and the Trump campaign tour then headed south for a second rally later Wednesday in Gorham.

Noem is a campaign surrogate for Trump in the final weeks of the presidential race. The Trump campaign bus’s stop in Bangor is the latest event – including a brief Sunday appearance by the president at an apple orchard north of Bangor – aimed at winning the one Electoral College vote up for grabs in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.


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