A man was arrested Saturday by police in Tuscaloosa, Alabama near Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Baby Trump balloon, a symbol of protest used by The Resistance, was slashed with a knife by a man who then tried to flee.
Thirty-two-year-old Hoyt Hutchinson of Tuscaloosa cut an eight-foot gash in the side of the 20-foot inflatable balloon. As he tried to run away, Tuscaloosa police caught him. Hutchinson was charged with a felony – first-degree criminal mischief – and held on a $2,500 bond.
The protest blimp was set up in a park less than a mile from the stadium before the start of the University of Alabama – LSU football game. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended the game. The slashing happened just before kick-off.
Organizers say a man used a knife to deflate a huge "Baby Trump" protest balloon during the president’s trip to Alabama. Officers took the man into custody. https://t.co/8VQOEntwzS
— AP South U.S. Region (@APSouthRegion) November 10, 2019
According to local reporting, the cost to bring the Baby Trump balloon to the event was $4,000 and $7882 was raised. $3882 will be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Hutchinson’s legal fees and restitution. The goal was set at $6,000. As I write this Sunday morning, $20,256 has been raised.
According to the Tuscaloosa News, Hutchinson posted a Facebook Live video the before game in which he said he wanted to take down the Baby Trump float.
“I’m shaking, I’m so mad right now,” the man in the video said. “I’m fixing to pop this balloon, without a doubt. Stay tuned. This should be interesting.”
The Resistance must be disappointed that President Trump and Melania were greeted so enthusiastically during the football game. Unlike the disrespectful booing during the World Series game in Washington, D.C. and the mixed reception at the MMA match in New York City, the college football fans were happy to see him. Here are three updates to a report at AL.com on the reception for Trump:
Trump’s arrival has not been announced but there was a rolling of cheers when people began to realize he was here. Lots of people turned toward his box, pointing and taking pictures.
Overwhelming cheers as President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump shown on video screen just now during timeout in the game
It appeared Trump’s introduction was the planned for the game’s first timeout. As the Alabama-LSU game went to commercial, Trump quickly rose from his seat on the second or third row of the luxury box and moved to the front railing with Melania. Fans near the box had already returned their attention to the box, given that play had stopped on the field. Soon Trump and his wife were shown in the stadium’s four video screens and prolonged applause began, followed by scattered chants of “ USA! USA! USA!” Trump smiled and waved to the crowd.
Alabama is a solidly red state so it isn’t too much of a surprise that Trump and Melania were warmly welcomed.
— Alex Byington (@_AlexByington) November 9, 2019
The group in charge of the Baby Trump balloons isn’t too concerned about the attack.
When asked for comment the organization that owns ‘Baby Trump’ said the deflation doesn’t make much of a difference to them, “We have 6 [Baby Trump balloons] and will persist to resist the Liar-in-Chief.”
With divisions continuing to escalate across the country as the 2020 election grows nearer, it’s not likely to be the last such attempt on these balloons. Hutchinson’s GoFundMe effort should more than pay for his legal fees and restitution to pay for that balloon.