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Trump rally protester arrested after posting incriminating evidence online


PHOENIX — A protester accused of kicking a can of tear gas at Phoenix police after President Donald Trump’s rally has been arrested.

Joshua Stuart Cobin, 29, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault on an officer and on count of unlawful assembly Thursday night.

Police said Cobin, who was arrested in Gilbert, threw two smoking canisters at police before kicking another at them.

He was believed to be the protester who was hit below the stomach by pepper balls.

“Many of you will recognize this man as he has posted images and admissions to his crime on social and local media outlets,” Sgt. Jonathan Howard said in a statement.

A person on Reddit claiming to be Cobin said he knew kicking the can toward police would make him a target.

Joshua Cobin (Marciopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

Joshua Cobin (Marciopa County Sheriff’s Office Photo)

“I knew once I kicked it that I was going to be a target for rubber bullets or pepper balls so it wasn’t a huge surprise,” the person wrote. “It just knocked the wind out of me and of course brain went into ‘protect the genitals’ mode.”

Demonstrators and police clashed Tuesday night after Trump’s downtown rally.

After protesters began throwing water bottles at police, witnesses said, officers fired tear gas, smoke bombs and pepper-spray pellets into the crowd near Third and Van Buren streets.

Four were arrested that night, including a man police said had a concealed weapon and threatened officers.

Police Chief Jeri Williams told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes the day after the rally, “I’m so proud to be the police chief of men and women who literally showed that professionalism — under contentious scenarios and situations — they demonstrated it flawlessly. …

“I literally went and spoke to the officers who were going to be on the skirmish lines and shared with them my expectation: ‘Be professional. The world is watching,’ ” Williams said.

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