Missouri Caucus 2012 Mess: 2 Ron Paul Supporters Arrested

 @sara_dover
on March 17 2012 9:31 PM
Missouri Caucus 2012 Mess: 2 Ron Paul Supporters Arrested
One of Missouri's largest presidential-nomination caucuses got shut down early after a chaotic argument led two Ron Paul supporters to be arrested on Saturday. Above, a woman holds a Ron Paul sign in Arizona. Reuters

One of Missouri's largest Republican Party presidential-nomination caucuses got shut down early -- and inconclusively -- after a chaotic argument led two Ron Paul supporters to be arrested on Saturday.

Police booked Missouri residents Brent Safford, 45, and Kenneth Suitter, 55, for trespassing at the St. Charles County Republican presidential caucus, both ABC News and the St. Charles Patch reported.

St. Charles is a suburb of St. Louis and one of the largest Republican counties in the state.

The caucus at the Francis Howell North High School began about an hour late and then was delayed when a member of the crowd started using a video camera, which was against caucus rules, according to the New York Times. Things subsequently got out of hand as several people holding video cameras -- all Paul supporters -- argued with a GOP official, ABC News reported.

Adding to the chaos was a particularly high turnout. At least 900 people crammed into the gymnasium, the New York Times reported, while more than 2,500 were at the school, the St. Charles Patch said.

It turned into a little food fight within the caucus, between the caucus chairman trying to control the caucus and certain elements, I guess with Ron Paul, trying to be heard, Tom Kipers, a former chairman of the St. Charles GOP, told ABC News.

In a press release, St. Charles police said, Two people were arrested for trespassing after receiving numerous warnings to leave the school property. Both Paul supporters were sent to the St. Peters Justice Center, where they were booked for Trespassing and released on a summons.

In addition to foot patrols, a police helicopter was reportedly on scene.

The rowdiness led the caucus to be shut down early. The St. Charles GOP said in a statement it still planned on sending delegates to their congressional district's convention, although none were picked on Saturday.

Missouri held most of its caucuses for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday. Although no winners will be declared until the state's convention in June, Rick Santorum won the state's nonbinding primary election in February with 55 percent of the vote.

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA