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VICE News reporter arrested outside a Donald Trump campaign event

Alex Thompson, a reporter for VICE News, was arrested by Houston Police today while inquiring about press access to an event held for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Omni Westside Hotel

by VICE News
Sep 17 2016, 7:05pm

VICE News

This post has been updated with a statement from the Houston Police Department.

Alex Thompson, a reporter for VICE News, was arrested by Houston Police today while inquiring about press access to an event held for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Omni Westside Hotel. Thompson was arrested at roughly 1:30 PM EST and has been charged with trespassing. He is currently being held at Houston Central Jail.


VICE News requested access to the event earlier this week and was told by the Trump campaign that its status was "pending." Thompson entered the lobby of the Omni to ask members of Trump's communications staff whether a final decision on access had been made.

A man who identified himself as a hotel manager then asked Thompson to leave and warned that he would be arrested if he did not. Roughly two minutes later, without further warning and while Thompson was waiting for a member of Trump's staff to clarify his access to the event, he was arrested by Houston Police, handcuffed, and escorted outside. Thompson spoke with his editors while handcuffed and said that he was never given any opportunity to explain himself to police.

A call to the Omni seeking comment has not yet been returned.

We'll continue to update this post as we receive more information.

UPDATE 6:00PM ET: A spokesperson for the Trump campaign replied with the following statement:

"The campaign was not involved in this incident or aware of the details surrounding it. The event organizers were responsible for today's media presence and requested the campaign limit attendance to the traveling pool. The campaign had no staff presence at check-in for guests or media and therefore has no further knowledge of what occurred."

UPDATE: 8:28 PM ET: The Houston Police Department issued the following statement:

"Hotel management initially asked a man to leave the building and he eventually complied and left. Soon after, he entered the hotel a second time. When asked to leave by management, he refused to do so and told hotel employees they would have to have him arrested because he was not leaving. The hotel management then advised police officers they wanted the man arrested for trespassing. Officers did so and transported him to the HPD Central Jail on a charge of criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor. The arrest took place about 12:25 pm. The man's name is Alexander Scott Thompson."

UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 18 8:53 AM ET: Alex Thompson was released on bond by the Houston Police Department overnight.

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Politics
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Donald Trump
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Alex Thompson
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