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Arizona airman charged with assault at Trump rally in Tucson

Trump protester Bryan Sanders, center left, is punched by a Trump supporter as he is escorted out of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's rally at the Tucson Arena in downtown Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, March 19, 2016. (Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

Authorities said a man charged with assaulting a protester at a rally for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Staff Sgt. Tony Pettway, 32, a response force leader, was arrested Saturday on a misdemeanor charge of assault with injury.

The victim, Bryan Sanders, was being led out of the rally up a flight of stairs when a man in the stands jumped up from this seat and began to punch and kick him.

Davis-Monthan said it was reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, according to 2nd Lt. Sydney Smith of the 355th Fighter Wing public affairs office.

Smith said members of the Department of Defense were allowed to participate in the political process on their own time.

In an email to the Air Force Times, Capt. Casey Osbornebut wrote, “We believe wholeheartedly in our fellow Americans’ rights to express their views on political issues, and we strongly condemn any attempt to silence those views through force or violence.”

Pettway, the Times reported, is a security forces airman and has been at the base since 2002.

He was released without being booked into jail.

The arrest was one of several at two Trump rallies in Arizona on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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