Supporters of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and protesters clashed after a rally in Utah on Friday.
Crowds who chanted “Donald Trump” were met with “Mr. Hate Out of Our State” as police in riot gear blocked the entrance to the Infinity Event Center in Salt Lake City. Protesters tried to rush the door of the building and got into screaming matches with Trump supporters who were barred from entering the venue.
According to KSTU-TV, people who were exiting the building were being pelted with rocks. Some were seen protesters tearing down a security tent that the U.S. Secret Service used to screen attendees before they entered the building.
“Like I said, overall, you know our officers were on standby, we were just hoping everything was peaceful, and, no problems whatsoever, and fortunately it turned out just as we anticipated,” Salt Lake City Police Det. Cody Lougy told KSTU-TV.
Lougy told the Salt Lake Tribune that he didn’t think anyone was arrested.
According to the paper, the heated demonstrations outside the Infinity Event Center weren’t the only protests around the city.
Tony Yapias, the director of Proyecto Latino, played a voice mail message over a loudspeaker he received Friday morning of someone telling him to leave the U.S. Yapias told the Tribune that Trump’s rhetoric is playing a part in the increased tension drawn toward Latinos.
He said the rally – which was attended by about 150 people – was to show that the Hispanic community in Utah will not back down from his hate speech. Some in the crowd were heard chanting “Get out Trump” in Spanish.
Trump spoke to a crowd people in Salt Lake City and took a shot at former presidential candidate and Utah resident Mitt Romney, who said he was going to support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s caucuses.
“Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?” he jokingly asked his crowd at the Infinity Event Center.
Romney, who has made Utah his adopted home, said Friday that he plans to vote for Cruz in the state’s Tuesday caucuses. He made the announcement on his official Facebook page as Kasich was speaking to about 600 people during a town hall at Utah Valley University.
Romney has campaigned with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in other states but stopped short of endorsing him. In addition to his position as a prominent member of Utah’s dominant faith, Romney is also revered in the state for leading a turnaround of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
It’s unclear to what degree his endorsement of Cruz may sway GOP voters in the Tuesday caucuses. The Texas senator was already expected to have a leg up on the other Republican contenders because of his emphasis on religious liberties and backing from Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy and the Associated Press contributed to this report.