Trump supporter grabs, appears to punch protester at North Carolina rally

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on Sept. 12, 2016, at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on Sept. 12, 2016, at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A man attending Donald Trump’s rally on Monday grabbed a protester by the neck and appeared to punch him in the face.

The man accosted a group of protesters who began shouting in the middle of Trump’s rally and exchanged words with one man before grabbing him by the neck while brandishing his closed fist. The Trump supporter then swung at the protester, but it’s unclear if the protester dodged the punch.

The incident came as Trump lambasted Hillary Clinton for calling half of his supporters a “basket of deplorables.”

Trump had brought a group of supporters on stage, proclaiming them hard-working Americans, not “deplorables.”

Clinton had said she regretted saying the word “half,” but said she will continue to call out the “bigotry” in the Trump campaign.

“Every American is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect in our country,” Trump said Monday night as he slammed Clinton for her comments.

Monday’s altercation occurred as a Trump campaign staffer arrived by the group of protesters to escort them out of the rally.

As the male protester was escorted out of the building, the Trump supporter then appeared to try and grab a female protester who was also being escorted out of the building.

Police officers, who were stationed throughout the arena of Trump’s rally, were not involved in the incident.

The unidentified Trump supporter remained at the rally and was not arrested.