A top security guard for Donald Trump smacked a protester in the face after the man chased him for snatching a banner Thursday, video shows.
The guard grabbed the blue sign that said “Trump: Make America Racist Again” — a play on the billionaire’s campaign motto — outside a press conference on the Donald’s new pledge of loyalty to the Republican Party, NY1 Noticias video shows.
Demonstrator Efrain Galicia ran after Schiller and appeared to reach for the banner and grab the guard from behind. Within seconds, the guard turned around and whacked him in the face with an open hand as a scrum of reporters snapped photos.
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Galicia stumbled as another guard tried to restrain him, appearing to briefly put him in a stranglehold. Galicia fought back, grabbing at the second guard’s arms before the two yelled at each other outside Trump Tower.
A source familiar with the Trump campaign identified the first guard as Keith Schiller, Trump’s director of security and longtime bodyguard.
After the 10-second tussle, Galicia told reporters the guards are “just acting like their boss.”
“This man thinks he can do whatever he wants in this country, and we’re going to stop him,” Galicia said in Spanish.
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An attorney for Galicia said he is exploring all “legal remedies that may be available” as Schiller appeared to “attempt to suppress free speech and the growing public criticism of the Trump campaign.”
“The video in a sense speaks for itself,” Benjamin Dictor told the Daily News Friday. “The actions were just exceedingly aggressive especially given the fact that demonstrators were on a public sidewalk speaking out about issues of public concern.”
Galicia compared the incident to the ejection of Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from an Iowa news conference last week for asking Trump questions without being called on.
The News source said Schiller is the same guard who removed Ramos from the Dubuque event.
Republican strategist and commentator Michael Caputo said Schiller is “the kindest, most gentle man I’ve ever worked with.”
“But attack him from behind and you’ll definitely regret it,” Caputo said on social media. “A little advice: DON’T ATTACK HIM FROM BEHIND, IDIOT.”
Schiller is a retired NYPD detective and a U.S. Navy veteran, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He’s been with Trump for 16 years and was photographed restraining Vince McMahon of the WWE when he tried to attack Trump at a match in 2007.
Trump’s campaign said the guard was “jumped from behind” and will “likely be pressing charges.”
As of midday Friday, no charges had been filed in the incident by either Galicia or Team Trump, the NYPD said.
Galicia was protesting alongside people dressed up as members of the Ku Klux Klan as Trump announced he signed a pledge to the Republican Party. The protesters were speaking out about Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-Mexico stance.
“They took all our banners and stuff. They wanted to rip them up,” Galicia said.
Inside the Trump Tower press conference, the Donald promised to forgo a third-party White House run and back the eventual 2016 Republican nominee. The non-legally binding pledge comes a month after Trump surprised Republican debate viewers by saying he wasn’t ruling out running with another party.
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