Ohio man who rushed stage at Trump rally pleads not guilty

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man charged after rushing the stage at a Donald Trump rally has pleaded not guilty in federal court.

Authorities say 22-year-old Fairborn resident Thomas DiMassimo jumped a barricade and charged at the Republican presidential candidate March 12 at a Dayton International Airport hangar. DiMassimo was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, illegally entering a restricted area.

He pleaded not guilty Friday. His attorney, Jon Paul Rion, says the Wright State University student wanted only to ensure his political views were heard.

Video shows DiMassimo touched the stage where Trump was speaking as Secret Service agents and other security converged.

The acting U.S. attorney for southern Ohio tells the Dayton Daily News it’s an important case in the context of an election full of passion and protests.