Trump Won't Face Inciting a Riot Charges for North Carolina Rally, Sheriff's Office Says

A Trump supporter allegedly sucker punched a protester in the face at the rally.

ByABC News
March 14, 2016, 8:52 PM

— -- Donald Trump and his campaign are not expected to face inciting a riot charges in connection with a violent incident at a rally in Fayetteville, NC, police said.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's office had been investigating the real estate mogul and his campaign but decided "that the evidence does not meet the requisites of the law as established under the relevant North Carolina statute and case law to support a conviction of the crime of inciting a riot," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

"Accordingly, we will not be seeking a warrant or indictment against Mr. Trump or his campaign for these offenses," the statement said. "While other aspects of our investigation are continuing, the investigation with regard to Mr. Trump and his campaign has been concluded, and no charges are anticipated."

During the event a man who attended the rally last Wednesday, John Franklin McGraw, 78, allegedly sucker-punched a protester in the face as he was being escorted out of the venue.

McGraw was not immediately detained because police said that officers didn't see the punch. But after video surfaced of the incident, McGraw was charged with assault and disorderly conduct. It was not clear if he entered a plea or had a lawyer.

Trump said this past Sunday that he instructed his team to look into paying McGraw's legal fees.

"Maybe he doesn't like seeing what's happening to the country," he said on "Meet the Press," according to the Associated Press.

Trump has been criticized for statements that seemingly encourage violence from his fans during his rallies. In one instance, he said that he wanted to punch a protester in the face.

But on other occasions, Trump has said he doesn't condone violence.

His rhetoric has drawn criticism from his rivals for presidency.

"I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment, when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence to punch people in the face," Sen. Ted Cruz said in Illinois recently. "The predictable consequence of that is that it escalates. And today is unlikely to be the last such instance...That's not how our politics should occur."

Fellow GOP candidate Marco Rubio also took aim at Trump.

"There is only one presidential candidate who has violence at their events," he said. "And I do think Donald needs to realize and take responsibility for the fact that some of the rhetoric he has used could be contributing to this environment that is growing increasingly disturbing for a number of Americans."

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton teed off on Trump as well, calling him "dangerous" and saying that he is "inciting mob violence."