No major disruptions to Downtown Fresno business despite Trump visit

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The crowds are gone now and streets back open around Selland Arena but, earlier, there was cause for concern. (KFSN)

The crowds are gone now and streets back open around Selland Arena but, earlier, there was cause for concern.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump crossed the gates without any problems for his entrance, but protestors weren't far behind.

The ones on foot quickly became a problem for vendors like Robert of Florida who said protesters knocked merchandise off his table then stomped on it.

"What they need is water truck and spray them like mace," the vendor said. "They're throwing rocks and bottles, this stuff can be replaced so no big deal."

Unlike the other vendors, Nick Florez was far enough away from the action.

Ironically, it's his first time selling Trump merchandise, but he's a Bernie Sanders supporter.

"To me it's just T-shirts, you know what I mean?" he said. "People are going to vote for who they're going to vote for at the end of the day. I got to pay rent, you know?"

Julie Steele spent the day protecting the tenants who rent property near Selland Arena, specifically their parking spaces.

But she said the city has been helpful.

"It's made things go very smoothly," Steele said. "We were able to just kind of keep an eye on the parking lots make sure tenants were able to get where they needed to get."

Downtown workers we spoke with had no problems getting to work or parking Friday morning, including Fresno attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt.

He advised any protestors to not interfere with the duties of police officers, it can be a misdemeanor even if it's not a violent act.

"They can engage in free speech, but when it crosses the line into violence or anything that constitutes a crime, the Fresno Police Department, I'm sure is going to act," Hammerschmidt said.

But there were peaceful protestors like Emery Ellis who walked to the arena from the library.

"No problems with traffic or getting here, the cops are really cool about it," she said. "The protestors were a little rowdy but so were the Trump supporters but that's what it's all about."

Close by, a summer safety event at Chukchansi Park drew 4,000 volunteers and more than 1,000 kids, but six schools decided not to come.

Some avoided downtown, while others watched from afar.

But whatever they saw, they'll remember it for years to come.
Related Topics:
businessbusinessfresnodonald trumpFresno - Downtown
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