While many sympathized with the mysterious blond woman who was egged Thursday night in by critics of Donald Trump, some witnesses said they were harassed by her and her friend moments before the egg was lobbed.
“She was flipping us off,” said Kanisha George, 37, who was standing outside the Hilton San Jose during a Trump protest before the Republican presidential candidate spoke at the adjoining Convention Center. “She was antagonizing everyone. She was not innocent.”
The antagonism was corroborated by CNN reporter Sara Murray, who also witnessed it, in addition to exclusive video that George shared with NBC Bay area. Plus, Juan Castro, 15, of San Jose told NBC Bay Area he saw the woman "talking smack" to the crowd. "She was cussing," he said, "She was using the F--- word and racist language, like 'You Mexican.' She just came out of nowhere."
But it appears as though there was plenty of antagonism to go around on both sides. The woman, dressed in a red-white-and-blue Trump shirt, was seen smiling and taking cell phone video of the crowd, many of whom were yelling "F--- Trump" as she walked by. The woman's friend, dressed in shorts and a red T-shirt, stuck up her middle finger at the angry, anti-Trump crowd.
“That lady and her friend walked by, doing these little faces,” George said. “The one who got egged was looking at everyone’s signs to see if they were for Trump or against Trump.”
The woman’s identity remained a mystery to most on Friday.
But her image was captured on video by reporters and citizen journalists who attended the raucous rally, where one police officer was assaulted and others were bruised and injured. A hotel employee said the woman entered the hotel, but wasn’t a guest there.
Many on the right lashed out at liberals whom they called thugs for harming the woman while she was expressing her First Amendment rights. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo chastised the violent protesters, too. Conservative San Francisco columnist Debra Saunders tweeted, "Who brings an egg to a protest? The type of leftist thug who trades in intimidation & harassment. Civil rights? They trample over them."
George described a little more of what happened before the egging incident. She said the woman touched her sign, saw that she didn’t support Trump and then turned her back on her. A “mob” had formed at that point, George said, and the woman walked right through it. “That’s when the egg was thrown,” George said, adding that she had no idea who was behind it.
Even at the time, George knew it wasn’t kind or right.
“I think there were a lot of peaceful protesters for the most part,” George said, “but the young people don’t know what it’s about and just wanted to start trouble.”
She also said she heard many in the crowd trying to put an end to the vitriol. “I heard people saying, ‘Stop! Stop! This is what they want us to do,’’’ George said.
As for what happened next George said she when things started turning ugly, she knew that was her time to leave.
“It getting crazy,” she said, “and I got out of there.”