Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.
Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. At one point, a demonstrator stomped on a police cruiser, its windows smashed to pieces.
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“Dump the Trump,” said one sign. Another protester scrawled an expletive and Trump’s name onto a Costa Mesa police cruiser.
“I’m protesting because I want equal rights for everybody, and I want peaceful protest,” said 19-year-old Daniel Lujan, one of hundreds in a crowd that appeared to be mostly in their late teens and 20s.
Video footage showed some anti-Trump demonstrators hurling debris at a passing pickup. One group of protesters carried benches and blocked the entrance to the 55 Freeway along Newport Boulevard, with some tossing rocks at motorists near the onramp.
Officers clad in riot gear from the Costa Mesa Police Department lined up across a roadway and announced to demonstrators to clear the road.
Law enforcement agencies had deployed additional forces, including 50 Orange County sheriff’s deputies and a dozen Costa Mesa police officers to prepare for the night’s crowds.