3 detained after Trump rally disturbance outside Monitor office

BY MARK REAGAN AND MATT WILSON | STAFF WRITERS

McALLEN — Police here charged three people with disorderly conduct after responding to a disturbance Monday afternoon at a Trump rally outside of The Monitor office.

McAllen Police Department Lt. Joel Morales confirmed that police responded to The Monitor at around 12:35 p.m. and detained three people.

Morales said police detained 22-year-old McAllen resident Emmanuel Mwenda Kiunga, 35-year-old Edinburg resident Ryan Padgett Wolfe and 18-year-old McAllen resident Brianna Younique Cisneros, who are all charged with a class C misdemeanor and are required to make an appearance in municipal court at a later date.

Monday’s rally was a Stop the Steal event in support of President Trump, according to social media posts about the event.

One video taken on Nolana Avenue begins as a Black man and a Trump supporter stare at each other face-to-face before the supporter punches the Black man in the face, knocking him to the ground. The altercation continued with more punches thrown before others attempted to break it up.

At one point, a woman exited her vehicle to defend the Black man, punching the Trump supporter in question and attempting to take a flag from another protester at the scene.

Supporters of President Donald Trump have been holding rallies outside of the newspaper since before the election.

Lidia Romero, a counselor from Harlingen, was stopped waiting for a red light to turn green at the intersection of Nolana and Jackson when she saw the fight break out.

According to Romero, the protesters had been yelling at traffic and a man in one of the cars began to shout back and exited his vehicle. She described one of the protesters, a man in a military outfit, walking toward the man who had gotten out of the car.

Romero says the man who had gotten out of the car shoved the man in the military outfit when he got close, and then the man in the military outfit started swinging.

“It didn’t scare me,” Romero, 81, said. “I didn’t get nervous. I just wanted to get home to Harlingen because I had an appointment.”

Romero did feel a sense of annoyance at having to wait while traffic stopped around the intersection.

“I felt, ‘Here they go again,’” she said. “The election’s over, for Christ’s sake, and they’re still fighting.”

Supporters of the Stop the Steal movement believe President-elect Joe Biden stole the election from Trump through widespread voter fraud.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and numerous lawsuits alleging irregularities in the election have been dismissed, with even the attorney general disputing any claims of “rigging.”


Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information about the identities and charges of those involved in the incident.


mreagan@themonitor.com | mwilson@themonitor.com