Dion Cini is regularly removed from public places after displaying Trump flags and signs in various locations. In his latest stunt, he was removed from the Trump-owned Wollman Rink at Central Park after skating onto the ice with a giant “Trump 2024” flag in an incident that was caught on video.
The video was shot Sunday, February 21, 2021, which was expected to be the last day the ice skating rink was open. Mayor Bill DeBlasio planned to close Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink six weeks early, ending a contract between the city and former President Donald Trump. However, city officials decided the ice skating rinks should remain open through the rest of the season.
Cini was a U.S. Marine and is exploring a political campaign. He is a New York resident who started a company that encourages children to explore STEM skills.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cini Shared a Video on Twitter Which Showed Him Raising a ‘Trump 2024’ Flag at Wollman Park & Being Tackled After He Did Not Get Off the Ice
Cini shared the video of himself being removed by staff from the ice skating rink, even tagging former President Donald Trump’s sons Donald J. Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, White House Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale and others.
The 2 minute, 19 second video opens with Cini extending a large “Trump 2024” flag at the edge of the ice skating rink. He is wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and a military flag bandana as a face covering, which is slipping under his mouth. He skates into the rink, quickly attracting the attention of a security guard and the crowd with the large flag. The crowd begins booing, along with a few whistles.
Another man, who is wearing a red jacket that says “Staff”, skates backward in front of Cini, shaking his head and motioning for him to get off the ice. Another man wearing a red staff jacket joins the first, but Cini evades them.
Another man, who is not wearing a uniform, skates behind Cini and grabs the back of his hood, briefly knocking him off balance. Another person approaches Cini from the front, and Cini confronts the person, who falls onto the ice. Staff gather around Cini and talk to him before one of the staff members wrestles him to the ground to a cheering crowd.
“I brought the Trump 2024 flag to Trump Wollman rink because it was the last day of The Trump organization managing the rink, which they’ve done for the last 30 some years, and wanted to celebrate another Trump accomplishment while also starting a campaign push for 2024,” Cini told the Daily Dot. “As I was being attacked I heard people cheering as I was put into a chokehold, which shocked me because I thought they want unity and not watch their fellow Americans being [attacked] over a flag.”
He claimed he suffered injuries to his back, neck, jaw and knee. He further claimed he was already leaving the ice when he was tackled.
Another angle of the video shows Cini shouted “What are you doing?” and “Get the f*** off me!” at staff who were attempting to remove him from the rink. A man scoops up a little girl from over the ice rink’s barrier where she was caught near the location of the mayhem. Cini points aggressively at them while another person says “No violence” and a staff member calmly says “Let’s go.”
“The party of unity !!” RealTina40 wrote on Twitter. “People cheering as my friend @dioncini was attacked in Wollman Rink in Central Park for waving a Trump 2024 flag !!”
2. Cini Is Considering Running for Congress in Pennsylvania in 2022 Under the Campaign Slogan, ‘Make Ches Ber Co Great Again’
Cini, a New York resident, is considering a run for state representative in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District in 2022. He has already picked out his campaign slogan, “Make Ches Ber Co Great Again,” a reference to the two counties within the 6th District, Chester and Berks, located in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“I am currently putting together an exploratory committee to flip the 6th District of Pennsylvania back to a Conservative landscape,” he wrote on Instagram in 2020. “You can check out some of my ‘real world’ experience on LinkedIn and we’ll be updating with political information on my new website coming soon. Thank you KAG!”
His LinkedIn page says he attended Trump University from 1996 to 2000. It lists employment positions including working as the managing partner for a health and wellness company and as the managing partner for a financial group. The page also says he started an organization called “Hobby Quest” to encourage children to explore their skills in science and other fields.
“Grew company from ground up. Built business plan, marketing strategy, channel sales and grew the business across the northeast region. Hobby Quest gives access to hundreds of thousands of children, the ability to have ‘hands on’ hobby and science based programs. Now located in more than 500 locations and with a team of over 100 employees,” he wrote.
3. Cini Has Been Removed From Public Places Multiple Times & Was Banned for Life From Disney World Twice in One Month
The Wollman Rink incident was far from the first time Cini was removed from a public location after spreading a political message for Trump. In 2019, he unfurled a giant “Trump 2020” banner from the Mark Twain riverboat at Disneyland. Disneyland security guards and a manager were waiting for Cini at the dock. He was given a trespassing admonition, but was not arrested and acted cooperatively, according to The Orange County Register.
“This person has been previously warned, and we have taken appropriate steps to address his behavior,” parks spokeswoman Liz Jaeger said in a statement to Fox 11 LA. “The other thing important here is Guests don’t come to Disney expecting to have their trip impacted by an individual’s actions like this. This gentleman was disrupting their experiences and family memories.”
In 2018, he was removed for holding a “Trump 2020” sign on Splash Mountain. He wrote on Facebook he was “banned for life from Walt Disney World for the second time in a month,” according to CBS 17.
4. Wollman Park Was Scheduled to Close on the Day the Video Was Shot, With Mayor Bill DeBlasio Saying They Did Not Want to Support Trump
Trump’s Central Park skating rinks were scheduled to be closed six weeks early, but Mayor Bill DeBlasio reversed his decision. Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, which both have Trump ties, were scheduled to close at the end of the day Sunday, February 22, 2021. It was on Sunday that the encounter with Cini was recorded on video. DeBlasio had said the city would end its contract with Trump following the January 6, 2021 siege of the U.S. Capitol.
The Trump Organization called the decision “political stunt that only hurts New Yorkers,” according to PIX 11.
The mayor’s office later reversed the decision.
“New York City kids deserve all the time on the ice they can get this year,” mayoral spokesman Bill Neidhardt said Sunday night, according to PIX 11. “But make no mistake, we will not be doing business with the Trump Organization going forward. Inciting an insurrection will never be forgotten or forgiven.”
5. Cini Plans to Return to Wollman Rink With His Trump Flag After Learning the Ice Skating Area Would Remain Open Through the End of the Season
Cini said he plans to return to Wollman Rink after Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced the rink and Lasker Rink would remain open for another six weeks.
“So now DeBlasio is going to keep Wollman Rink open til April. Good, gives me a lot of time to plan the next flag drop,” he wrote on Twitter. “Trump 2024!”
He shared a post about four hours later, writing about a “Trump 2024 Save America” rally.
“In 9.5 days, it’s gonna get wild,” he wrote on Twitter.