The demise of the balloon was a blow to the organizers of the anti-Trump protest, which was held not far from the university.
Donors contributed $7,882 to bring Baby Trump roughly a mile from Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Alabama-LSU game. The rental cost $4,500, and the surplus went to the Equal Justice Initiative.
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According to The Associated Press, about a dozen protesters were gathered around the balloon when it was popped.
Robert Kennedy, who volunteered to protect Baby Trump, told The AP that a number of passersby shouted “Trump 2020. But overall, he said, the day had been going smoothly, with supporters stopping to take selfies with the balloon.
That was until a man charged at Baby Trump from behind and stabbed the balloon with a knife, leaving an 8-foot-long gash in its back. He then fled the scene.
A left-wing student who posed with the balloon called its deflation “the most devastating loss of the day,” apparently ranking it above Alabama’s 41-46 loss to LSU on the field.
Other liberal commenters variously accused the stabber of being violent, racist, backward and pathetic.
— James Morrison (@JamesPMorrison) November 10, 2019
Meanwhile, after mixed reactions to his appearances at recent sporting events, Trump was loudly cheered by the University of Alabama crowd.
Donald Trump cheered loudly as he’s shown on video board in Bryant-Denny Stadium. pic.twitter.com/RfvQO0eBmx
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) November 9, 2019
Hoyt Hutchinson gets showered with money and praise
Later Saturday, Hutchinson was arrested and charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief. He was released on $2,500 bond.
Many on the left cheered the Trump supporter’s arrest. But Hutchinson posted a defiant followup video to Facebook, making clear he had no regrets.
“Some liberals tried to come to my hometown and start some trouble. That ain’t happenin’,” he said. “I’d do it again.”
The Trump supporter also launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover his legal expenses and “restitution.” The campaign quickly exceeded its $6,000 goal, and as of Sunday morning, had raised more than $17,000.
“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 said.
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“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.”
On social media, Trump supporters also questioned the severity of the charges against Hutchinson and hailed him as a hero.
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