RADFORD, Va., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- A freelance photographer for Time magazine became involved in a physical altercation with a security guard Monday at a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Virginia -- an incident captured on photo and video by surprised bystanders.
Christopher Morris, a longtime contract photographer for the magazine, was photographing a small throng of protesters who were being removed from the event when he became involved in a verbal spat with a security agent.
Video of the confrontation appears to show the guard grab Morris by the neck and force him to the ground after the testy exchange.
"I stepped 18 inches out of the pen, and he grabbed me by the neck and started choking me and slammed me to the ground," Morris told CNN's Jim Acosta just moments later.
Multiple members in the press area captured the incident on photo and video, including Independent Journal Review reporter Joe Perticone, who posted video of the scuffle to his Twitter page.
Perticone reported that Morris shouted an obscenity at the guard and swatted the agent's hands away immediately before he was forced to the ground.
This is how reporters are treated at Trump rallies pic.twitter.com/hMxuEoKVeG— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) February 29, 2016
Morris was uninjured and he said he will not press charges against the security agent. It wasn't immediately clear who employed the agent involved in the scuffle. Some reports indicated the guard may have been an agent of the U.S. Secret Service, which provides some security for the presidential candidates.
"There was an incident involving a photographer and a [security] agent at today's Radford University Trump rally," Trump's campaign said. "We are not aware of all details surrounding the incident, and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement."
Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner, spoke at a rally at Virginia's Radford University on Monday ahead of Tuesday's primary.
"Thank you Virginia! 15,000 amazing supporters! Everyone get out and VoteTrump tomorrow!" Trump tweeted Monday afternoon.
Secret Service agent choke slams reporter pic.twitter.com/jdsHOlylSB— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) February 29, 2016