A man wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) had was caught on video allegedly spraying a can of bear repellant into a crowd of anti-Trump protesters on Saturday, The L.A. Times reports. The alleged assailant faces a host of criminal charges.
A group protesting Donald Trump and Mike Pence had gathered on the beach at Santa Monica, California, and gradually made its way to the Santa Monica Pier, the city's most popular tourist attraction. There, they were met by a crowd of Trump supporters, said Santa Monica Police Sgt. D. Hicks. That's when, as Hicks describes it, "Everything went to crap."
The two sides began trading shouts with one another, and it eventually devolved into scuffling and fisticuffs. Then, a man allegedly emptied a can of bear repellent into the crowd of anti-Trump protesters. You can see the incident at about 1:40 in this video; be warned, the video contains violence and strong language which may be disturbing to some viewers.
Bear repellent is not unlike riot gas used by police and the military, in that it primarily consists of capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers that causes a burning sensation when you eat them. In the concentrations found in tear gas and commercial bear repellent, the chemical can cause eye irritation and difficulty breathing.Police later arrested the man, identified by HuffPost as 32-year-old David Nicholas Dempsey. He's been booked on suspicion of illegal use of tear gas, assault with a caustic chemical and parole violations. Dempsey is on parole for a prior weapons conviction, and Hicks says he has a "fairly extensive" criminal record.
Dempsey, for his part, can be heard in the video telling police he was "attacked" by "libtards" and "flag-burning commies" as he was being placed into handcuffs.
Meanwhile, police are looking for another man who also may have attacked the crowd with bear repellent or some other chemical.
As for the protesters, while five people were treated at the scene, nobody was taken to the hospital and there were no serious injuries.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, violence between supporters and opponents of Donald Trump has been somewhat commonplace ever since he announced his candidacy, usually at Trump rallies but oftentimes in seemingly-random contexts. Usually, that violence consists of punches and shoves, and people wearing MAGA hats frequently report having had their hats angrily pulled off of their heads by Trump detractors.