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February 22, 2019

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Witnessing attempted attack on Donald Trump at T.I. was surreal

Trumps Rallies at Treasure Island

Steve Marcus

Michael Steven Sandford is removed by Metro Police officers as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally Saturday, June 18, 2016, at Treasure Island. The man was arrested after allegedly approaching a Metro Police officer under the guise of seeking an autograph, then trying to disarm the officer, police said.

Updated Tuesday, June 21, 2016 | 11:15 p.m.

Michael Steven Sandford at T.I.

Michael Steven Sandford, illegally here from England, is arrested Saturday, June 18, 2016, at Treasure Island after reportedly trying to get a gun from a police officer in an attempt to kill Donald Trump. Launch slideshow »

Trump Rallies at Treasure Island

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up during a rally at the Treasure Island in Las Vegas Saturday, June 18, 2016. Launch slideshow »

Metro Police officers were the epitome of arrest perfection when they took down 20-year-old Michael Steven Sandford at Donald Trump’s rally Saturday at Mystere theater in Treasure Island, and it all happened mere feet from where I was sitting in the front row of the second orchestra level.

Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue sitting near me captured these images of the arrest and two police officers dragging away Sandford, reportedly in the United States from England with an expired visa, into the custody of the Secret Service.

Because he grabbed the handle of an officer’s gun in an attempt to remove it and threaten to kill the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, he was charged with “an act of violence on restricted grounds.”

Sandford was frog marched by officers along the walkway the clowns of Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” use to entertain guests. Security for The Donald was unbelievably tight. Four Secret Service agents remained onstage for his nearly 90-minute speech made without notes or TelePrompTer.

Another four sat in the front row of the circular theater. Another four stood at the top and bottom of the stairs going to the stage. A Homeland Security officer wearing a bulletproof vest through an airport screening metal detector frame patted me down.

It was surreal as Sandford was frog marched less than 6 feet away from me. He told Special Agents that he had attempted to grab the officer’s gun to shoot and kill The Donald.

In court, the released documents said that he would try to kill him again. A judge denied him bail. The day before, Sandford was at Battlefield Vegas shooting range practice firing 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol.

My planned interview with The Donald was immediately nixed at the last minute because after the incident, the Secret Service whisked him out of Mystere theater before anybody left the showroom.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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