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Protester mocked by Trump in Duluth arrested at Rochester rally

Protester Sam Spadino held up a sign with Jeffery Epstein as President Donald Trump addresses supporters at Amsoil Arena in Duluth June 20. Spadino was removed from the rally. (file / News Tribune)

A Minneapolis man who was kicked out of President Donald Trump's Duluth rally this summer as the president mocked his hairstyle and questioned his gender is in the news again.

This time, it's for repeatedly yelling "Dad!" as he was escorted out of and arrested at Trump's Oct. 4 rally at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn.

SpadinoSamuel Thomas Spadino, 36, was asked to leave last week's campaign rally by the president's personal security, not the Secret Service, but began yelling "Dad!" and resisted being escorted out of the arena, Lt. Mike Sadauskis of the Rochester Police Department told the News Tribune.

Once in the hallway, Spadino was transferred to the Rochester police and resisted those officers too, Sadauskis said.

"He was yelling 'Dad' repeatedly, both before and after arrest," Sauduskis said.

Charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, obstructing the legal process and trespassing, Spadino spent Thursday night at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center.

He pleaded not guilty to those charges at his Oct. 5 arraignment, according to court records, and a jury trial is set for Jan. 28, 2019.

No federal charges are expected.

"After discussions with the US Attorney's office in Minneapolis it was decided no federal charges would be issued," Sauduskis said.

Why scream "Dad"? It was a spur of the moment decision, Spadino said.

"I thought it'd be funny," Spadino said in a telephone interview with the News Tribune Tuesday. "I mean, I call all my friends 'Dad.' It's kind of an inside joke."

Spadino said he wasn't protesting or disrupting the rally when security approached him.

Unlike Spadino's visit to Trump's Duluth rally, the president didn't directly acknowledge or mock him.

At the June 20 rally at Amsoil Arena, Spadino held up a picture of Trump standing next to Jeffrey Epstein, a former financier and registered sex offender.

"Go home to your mom, darling, go home," Trump said as the crowd inside Amsoil Arena booed and pointed at Spadino.

"Get them out of here — out," Trump said.

The president then mocked Spadino, who wore his hair in a bun, as he was escorted out by security. The crowd chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

"Was that a man or a woman? Because he needs a haircut more than I do," Trump said. "I couldn't tell. I couldn't tell — he needs a haircut."

The Hill, USA Today, Fox News and other national outlets covered the exchange.

Spadino and friend Kelly Richard went into the Duluth rally with the goal of disrupting it.

"That was the plan," Richard told the News Tribune after leaving Amsoil.

Spadino planned a repeat of Duluth's rally.

At the Rochester rally, Spadino wore a blaze orange and camouflage hunting cap over his bun and hid his Trump/Epstein photo between two Trump signs.

"I had a similar protest in mind," Spadino said.

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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