- Peter Nicholls/Reuters
- A man was arrested for slashing a balloon that bears a cartoon resemblance to President Donald Trump.
- The “Baby Trump” balloon is a diaper-clad figure of the president that has appeared at numerous protests in the past.
- Organizers who lend out the balloons told the Associated Press that they were shocked when a man charged the balloon with a knife in a park nearby the University of Alabama-Louisiana State football game, where Trump appeared Saturday.
- The man had reportedly posted a video on Facebook earlier that day in which he said he wanted to “make a scene.”
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A man was arrested for slashing a balloon that bears a cartoon resemblance to President Donald Trump, in the “Baby Trump” balloon’s most recent appearance.
The diaper-clad, cartoon portrayal of the president has appeared at numerous protests, including its debut that followed Trump on each stop of his UK visit earlier this year.
The slashing incident occurred during Trump’s visit to the University of Alabama-Louisiana State football game Saturday, when the towering 20-foot “baby Trump” balloon was set up in a park close to the stadium.
Jim Girvan, the organizer of a group that “adopts” out the baby Trump balloons for protests, told the Associated Press that a man “charged at the balloon with a knife and cut an 8-foot-long gash” in its back.
Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, was charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief in the incident, according to The Tuscaloosa News. The man had reportedly posted a video on Facebook earlier that day in which he said he wanted to “make a scene.”
Robert Kennedy, another organizer who minds the Trump balloons, told the AP that despite encountering some Trump 2020 supporters, the day had been going smoothly before the incident.
“It is rare to get that kind of anger,” Kennedy told the AP about the man who knifed the balloon.
Tuscaloosa Police said in a statement posted on Facebook that the man ran away after going at the balloon, but was chased down by officers.
A GoFundMe page that appears to be set up by Hutchinson has a video of him being taken away by officers after the incident and is asking for assistance with legal fees.
The incident was a chaotic contrast to the warm welcome Trump received at the game alongside several Alabama lawmakers.