Five men stormed into the headquarters of the Wayne County Republican Party in Wooster, Ohio, on Tuesday with cameras and pornographic materials and unknown motives.
On Tuesday morning, John O’Brien, a volunteer with the Wayne County Republican Party, was working alone at the headquarters in downtown Wooster. Suddenly, five men stormed into the office with “cameras ablazing,” he told The Daily Record.
According to O’Brien, the men claimed they were with the Donald Trump campaign. Once they were inside the office, one of the men attempted to hang “Playboy calendar material” on the wall near a picture with the party’s candidates. He said he recognized one of the men as an Australian news reporter, although he couldn’t recall the name.
O’Brien chased the men out of the office and followed their car down the street, managing to get their license plate number before they fled town. He then called the Wooster Police and reported that an “Australian news crew” had stormed the GOP headquarters.
The men and the vehicle were located later that morning in neighboring Ashland County at Ashland University, where Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, was speaking that day. While the men were not arrested, they were told to leave campus, which they did without incident.
Ashland Police Chief Dave Marcelli said, “They were from Australia, from some sort of internet news site you or I have never heard of.” The names of the perpetrators and the news organization have not been released.
Wayne County Republican Party Chairman Doug Deeken told The Daily Record, “These kind of tactics … this is not the sort of thing we do in Wayne County. Here in Wayne County we can disagree politely … This is not Wayne County at all.”
O’Brien said he wasn’t surprised that there was an attempt to smear the county GOP. “I’ve been expecting one. What they did was just wrong.”
“We’re a good Christian county and we shouldn’t be treated like this,” he said.