News People Man arrested after slashing giant Trump baby balloon

Man arrested after slashing giant Trump baby balloon

One of the giant Trump baby ballons at a protest in Britain. Photo: Getty
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An Alabama man has been arrested after slashing the giant Trump baby balloon at a football game on the weekend.

Tuscaloosa police said 32-year-old Hoyt Hutchinson was arrested after officers saw him cut the balloon and then try to run away about 1pm on Saturday (local time).

“I am going down here to make a scene, so y’all watch the news,” Mr. Hutchinson said in a Facebook Live video before the game.

Mr Hutchinson said later he slashed the giant inflatable so that “our beloved President didn’t have to see this disrespectful balloon on the streets”.

“Officers observed Hoyt Deau Hutchinson … cut into the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon, and then attempted to flee the area,” police said in a statement.

“Officers apprehended the suspect and took him into custody on a charge of criminal mischief first degree.”

man slash trump balloon
Hoyt Hutchinson in a mugshot released by police. Photo: Tuscaloosa Police

The balloon had been set up at an anti-Trump protest at a local park, with US President Donald Trump attending a nearby football game between the University of Alabama and the Louisiana State University.

The orange balloon depicts Mr Trump with his mouth agape, wearing a nappy and carrying a mobile phone. It is six metres tall and four metres wide when fully inflated,

The balloon is one of six that often appear in protests at places tMr Trump visits.

They are made available by the nonprofit group People’s Motorcade, its president, Jim Girvan, told The New York Times on Sunday. He said he did not believe the Tuscaloosa balloon, which had a 2.4-metre long gash along the nappy line, could be saved.

“It’s a rather large gash,” Mr Girvan said.

“Some cuts can be repaired, but this one looks to be too big.”

Mr Hutchinson was taken to jail but released after posting a $US2500 ($A3640) bond. The NYT reports he was able to catch the third quarter of the football match – which was won by LSU.

He has since set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help pay his legal fees and costs. By midday Monday (ADST), he had raised more than $33,000.

An unrepentant Mr Hutchinson said he would “do it again if given the opportunity”.

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