SOUTH SHORE — The South Shore pastor who leapt to fame when he rushed the stage at Donald Trump’s Chicago rally was arrested Tuesday while stealing Trump signs in the suburbs.
The Rev. Jedidiah Brown posted video of himself on Facebook Tuesday driving around and pulling down a Trump sign, and he said Wednesday he kept doing it until police caught up with him in north suburban Northfield.
"Oh my God, I'm sure I'm going to go to jail. But I think that this is my duty as a citizen of the United States of America," he says on the video. "I'm clearly in a predominantly white area because that would never roll on the South Side of Chicago. We ain't going for this."
He videotaped himself ripping down a large blue "Trump/Pence" sign from a parkway and dragging it on the ground. He puts it in the back of his car and says he is bringing it "back home to Chicago."
Northfield police said Oct. 22 that Brown was stopped for running a red light and charged for that and driving with a suspended license.
Brown said was allowed to keep all the Trump signs he had taken, which filled his car.
Northfield police spokeswoman Lorene Boyes said police believe the signs were stolen in Mt. Pleasant, WI. She said Northfield police did not charge Brown with stealing the signs because they did not find any evidence that the theft happened within their jurisdiction and have passed along information about Brown to Mt. Pleasant police.
"Without firm evidence that Mr. Brown actually stole the signs within Northfield, we cannot charge him," Boyes said. "That evidence does not exist."
Brown said the Northfield officers were “pleasantly awesome” to him.
“They said, ‘Aren’t you that guy who jumped on the stage?’ And they started taking pictures with me,” Brown said.
Boyes said it "absolutely untrue" that officers took pictures with Brown while he was in custody.
“It should go without saying that the Northfield Police Department respects the rights of every individual," Boyes said. "We enforce the law even handedly and without bias.”
Trump never made it to the rally at the UIC Pavilion in March, where hundreds of anti-Trump protesters joined Trump supporters inside the Pavilion.
At the time, Brown said he didn't want "this kind of hatred to go unchallenged."
He took the stage at the rally, first ripping up a Trump sign. He then struggled with security guards, who eventually led him off the stage, but he was released back into the crowd.
He later was videotaped fighting with Trump supporters and even swinging at one of them. He was also not arrested in that incident because, he said, he was defending himself.
After the rally, he said he was inundated with death threats.
Brown was a Bernie Sanders supporter at the time and said Wednesday he's a "Bernie-or-bust guy."
He said he has not coordinated with or been paid by Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Brown said Tuesday said he’s renewed his license and now is thinking of planning an event that will utilize the Trump signs that he said filled up most of his car.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.