Man claimed he'll 'make a scene' before knifing 'Baby Trump' protest balloon during president's visit to Alabama-LSU football game
Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, who disapproved of the protesters and the 'Baby Trump' balloon, had earlier made a Facebook Live video about his plan to 'make a scene'.
A man who allegedly stabbed a "Baby Trump" protest balloon on display near the University of Alabama, was taken into custody on November 9. The incident happened while President Donald Trump was attending the Crimson Tide's football game against LSU.
According to a local news outlet, Tuscaloosa News, the man named Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, was charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief. Hutchinson had earlier posted a Facebook Live video in which he spoke of his plan to deflate the "Baby Trump" balloon. In the video, the Trump supporter said: “I’m going down here to make a scene, so y’all watch the news. This is pathetic. I’m fixing to get rowdy.”
The Tuscaloosa police posted a statement on their Facebook page on his arrest that read: “Officers observed Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, age 32 of Tuscaloosa, AL, cut into the 'Baby Trump' balloon, and then attempted (sic) 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.”
Later, Hutchinson also launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for legal fees and restitution. The petition states: "Help raise money to pay legal fees and restitutions (sic) 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 (sic) today!!"
Hoyt has already been released. “Some liberals tried to come to my hometown and start some trouble. That ain’t happenin,” Hutchinson said on a Facebook video he posted soon after getting out of jail. “I’d do it again,” he added.
By November 9, $15,360 had been raised on his GoFundMe page, far surpassing the petition goal of $6,000. Supporters left messages for Hoyt, showing support like "Ken Cavallon", who donated $50 and wrote: "It’s time to fight back against these anti-AMERICAN Leftists that want to destroy our way of life. McCarthy was right!" Another funder, Jeffrey Mills, (who donated $100) wrote: "The way the law is written in Alabama, it's the cost of the repairs to the property, not the value of said property. I don't think $2500 worth of damage was done, and I think you were purposely overcharged!"
Jim Girvan, who helps protestors "adopt" the Baby Trump balloons for rallies, told Associated Press that the man had charged the balloon with a knife and cut an 8-foot-long gash in the back. Donors contributed $7,882 to bring the inflatable roughly a mile from Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Alabama-LSU game. The rental cost $4,500 and any donations above that went to the Equal Justice Initiative.
The "Baby Trump" balloon was first used in London, UK to troll Trump. Now, several protest groups in the US have also used protest balloons that depict Trump as a crying baby wearing a diaper and holding a cell phone.