Donald Trump protester brutally punched, kicked to the ground

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A protester with a sign showing Donald Trump's face and the words "Bad For America," has been kicked and punched to the ground by a member of the audience while being escorted out of the venue by security in another showing of shocking violence at the US Republican White House hopeful's events.

The audience member was handcuffed and taken away before being charged with assault with injury.

Trump protester Bryan Sanders, centre 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, Arizona. Photo: Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star via AP

Video shows the moment the Trump supporter was removed after punching and kicking the protester. Photo: Twitter

Hundreds blocked a major road in the southwestern US state of Arizona as the latest attempts by opponents to disrupt the Trump campaign resulted in a handful of arrests.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, demonstrators who gathered at Manhattan's Columbus Circle, near one of the billionaire real estate mogul's luxury buildings overlooking Central Park, shouted the slogan "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay."

Amid a considerable police presence, protesters held up signs that read "Deport Trump" and "Build a wall around Trump."

Also spotted in the crowd were placards which read "Don't let bigotry Trump our constitution" and "Will trade 1 Donald Trump for 25,000 refugees."

At least one person was arrested on the city's famous Fifth Avenue during a brief skirmish that was quickly brought under control by police.

The demonstration was organised by a group called Cosmopolitan Antifascists, with others joining in.

Ordinary New Yorkers turned out for the event, concerned by Trump's status as the clear frontrunner for the Republican party's nomination ahead of November's presidential elections.

A boy stands with a sign protesting against US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in midtown Manhattan in New York. Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Trump "is racist, he is sexist, he is homophobic, he is Islamophobic, xenophobic, he is a fascist. It has serious implication for the future of America," Patrick Waldo told AFP.

"If we start closing our borders to some people based on their religious beliefs, that is completely unconstitutional... we start going to a World War II Germany kind of situation and I don't want that in my country," the 31-year-old historian added.

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, just one example of rhetoric by the candidate that has sparked controversy on the 2016 campaign trail.

"Everything he says is racist, is false. It hurts my feelings," said Nour Hapatsha, a 22-year-old Muslim born in the United States.

Some pro-Trump supporters also showed up.

"More and more, people who show their support to Donald Trump are intimidated," said one among them, Jim MacDonald.

"As frightening as this is, we are going to show that we have the right to show our support to Donald Trump whether it pleases the other side or not," he added.

- 'Dump Trump' -

Ahead of Trump's Tucson event, Arizona protesters blocked a major thoroughfare on the outskirts of Phoenix, in an attempt to prevent his supporters from reaching an area rally.

Trump was in the state ahead of its primary next Tuesday.

The estimated 50 protesters held a banner across the width of Shea Boulevard with the words "Dump Trump" as long lines of traffic backed up in the suburb of Fountain Hills.

Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who openly endorsed and supports Trump, said he would do everything possible to ensure the event would go ahead -- and Trump subsequently took the stage.

Deputy Joaquin Enriquez told AFP that three people were arrested and that two vehicles were towed.

"These arrests were made because they were blocking a public roadway, not for protesting," he said.

Demonstrations and violence have broken out at several Trump events recently, with critics saying the businessman's inflammatory rhetoric and barely-veiled threats directed at protesters have been fueling an increasingly toxic atmosphere surrounding his rallies.

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