A 32-year-old man has been charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief after he slashed the Baby Trump balloon that flew over the crowd at the Alabama-LSU football game.
Hoyt Hutchison posted a live Facebook video of the deed, saying, “I’m going down here to make a scene, so y’all watch the news.”
“This is pathetic. I’m fixing to get rowdy,” he said in the video.
Not all Heroes wear Capes!! Hoyt Hutchinson popped the Baby Trump balloon in Tuscaloosa. It’s beyond repair. pic.twitter.com/xM1xGY0snt
— GKIRBO (@gkirbo_hbk) November 9, 2019
Hutchison was well prepared for the aftermath.
Later, Hutchinson launched a crowdsourcing page to raise money for legal fees and restitution, AL.com reported.
“Hoyt made sure our beloved president didn’t have to see this disrespectful balloon on the streets of Ttown today!!,” a message on the page read. As of early Sunday, it showed more than $13,000 had been pledged, surpassing a goal of $6,000.
Reaction to the stunt was about what you’d expect.
“Good on you,” wrote a donor who pledged $20. “I am sick of these nasty social maggots getting away with offensive behavior. That balloon offends me!”
“Antifa can all but KILL a conservative reporter – a HUMAN BEING – nothing is done. No arrest,” another donor wrote. “This young man deflates an OFFENSIVE BALLOON & is arrested. I think we are a little lopsided with justice.”
You can’t willfully destroy someone’s property — even if it’s a political act. But the charges seem a bit excessive. What are people charged with who destroy Trump yard signs or rip Trump bumper stickers off of cars?
Hutchison isn’t the only one who stands to benefit financially from the stunt.
Baby Trump first rose over London when local activists brainstormed a way to troll Trump. Now several groups raise money to bring balloon replicas around the U.S.
Donors contributed $7,882 to bring the inflatable roughly a mile from Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Alabama-LSU game. The rental cost $4,500 and any donations above that went to the Equal Justice Initiative. The balloon was surrounded by about a dozen anti-Trump protesters.
By the way, the president, who attended the game yesterday, received a wild standing ovation when he was introduced.