Hoyt Hutchinson apparently launched an online fundraiser after being arrested on felony charges for allegedly stabbing an 8-foot hole into the “Baby Trump” protest balloon. In a matter of a few hours, he has raised more than $20,000 from fellow supporters of the president.
Hutchinson was booked on a charge of felony first-degree mischief for allegedly using a knife to attack the 20-foot-high, 13-foot-wide balloon before Saturday’s Alabama-LSU game. President Donald Trump attended the game, drawing a small group of protesters that included the now-famous balloon that depicts the president as a diaper-wearing baby wearing a scowl and holding a cell phone. A report from the Tuscaloosa News noted that Hutchinson bonded out of jail and was able to watch the second half of the game. He apparently launched an online fundraiser for his defense during that time.
The GoFundMe page said it was started by Hutchinson and claimed to raise money for his legal defense and any fines he might face. In a message accompanying the fundraiser, the person identified as Hutchinson wrote that the attack on the balloon was a defense of Trump.
“Help raise money to pay legal fees and restitutions for Hoyt,” the fundraiser’s description read. “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 today!!”
Trump appeared at Saturday’s Alabama-LSU game and received mostly a positive reaction, with the majority of fans cheering and chanting for the president when he was announced. This came after two largely embarrassing appearances at sporting events for Trump, as he drew deafening boos at Game 5 of the World Series and again was booed a few days later when attending UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden.
But Saturday’s appearance also drew a small group of protesters to Tuscaloosa, including Jim Girvan, an organizer who put together the “Baby Trump” demonstration against Trump. Hutchinson has already struck a defiant tone toward his arrest, with Al.com noting he posted a Facebook video after being released from jail on $2,500 bond.
In the video, Hutchinson railed against “liberals” who showed up to protest Trump.
“Some liberals tried to come to my hometown and start some trouble. That ain’t happening,” Hutchinson was seen saying in the video. “I did get arrested. I got charged. That’s all right. I’d do it again given the opportunity.”