When President Trump jumped down to Tuscaloosa to catch the Alabama-Louisiana State University game on Saturday, a smattering of protesters gathered. As they have done before, they brought along a giant balloon of the president wearing a diaper.
Hoyt Deau Hutchinson was apparently not happy. “He posted a Facebook video before the incident saying he was ‘going down here to make a scene … y’all watch the news. … I’m shaking I’m so mad right now. I’m fixin’ to pop this balloon. Stay tuned. It should be interesting,'” The Daily Mail reported.
Hutchison, 32, allegedly stabbed the balloon, cutting an eight-foot gash in the 20-foot balloon. He was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal mischief.
“Officers observed Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, age 32 of Tuscaloosa, AL, cut into the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon, and then attempted to flee the area. Officers apprehended the suspect and took him into custody on a charge of Criminal Mischief First Degree. Hoyt was transported to Tuscaloosa County Jail where he was held on a $2,500 bond,” according to a statement from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, police.
Cue Trump supporters.
The MAGA brigade has already collected more than $38,000 on GoFundMe.
“Help raise money to pay legal fees and restitutions for Hoyt. He was charged with a felony criminal mischief after deflation of the disrespectful baby trump balloon. Hoyt made sure our beloved president didn’t have to see this disrespectful balloon on the streets of Ttown today!!” said one fundraising page that claimed to be the official site for Hutchinson.
More than 1,700 people have donated so far.
The page said the money would be used to pay his legal fees, and “all proceeds not needed for legal fees will be donated to the Trump 2020 campaign to further support this great country.”
Another GoFundMe page, called “FREE HOYT,” raised more than $13,000 in just one day.
“Let’s help Hoyt with the financial fees that will come with the court process! I have personally been in touch with Hoyt everyday since Saturday and he has decided the money he doesn’t use for his court costs will be donated to the Republican Party,” the page says.
“Baby Trump” first hit the protest scene in London, when the president made an official state visit there, prompting protests. Since then, replicas have been flown at protests around the U.S.
“Robert Kennedy, a volunteer ‘baby sitter’ who brought the balloon to Tuscaloosa, said the balloon immediately began to sag after it was cut,” reported The Mail.
“The day had been going mostly smoothly, Kennedy said. Some people yelled ‘Trump 2020’ as they passed while others posed for selfies with the balloon. But then Kennedy said a man sidled up on the back of the balloon and attacked it with a knife. The suspect ran away but was caught by police officers, Kennedy said.”
Kennedy said he’s accompanied “Baby Trump” to many appearances and never witnessed an attack on it, although someone did stab one of the balloons in London earlier this year.
“It is rare to get that kind of anger,” Kennedy said.
But Hutchison is reportedly unapologetic, saying in another video after his release that he would “do it again given the opportunity,” The Hill reported.