The Alabama man who was arrested yesterday for stabbing a giant “Baby Trump” protest balloon started a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for his legal fees—and one day later he has received more than $32,000 in donations.
Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, was arrested and charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief on Saturday, according to the Tuscaloosa News, after he allegedly stabbed a giant “Baby Trump” balloon during President Donald Trump’s visit to Alabama. The suspect reportedly left a 8-foot-long gash in the inflatable object, which immediately began to fall to the ground.
The over 20-foot-tall orange balloon, which features a cartoon-style depiction of the president in diapers and holding a smartphone for tweeting, was flying at a nearby park during Trump’s visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium to watch the University of Alabama face off against Louisiana State University in a football game when a male Trump supporter stabbed it. Jim Girvan, who was looking after the balloon, told the Associated Press the suspect was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody. Girvan’s account was corroborated by a video of the incident posted to Twitter.
Shortly before the incident, Hutchinson shared a video to Facebook announcing that he was about to “make a scene.” “Y’all watch the news,” he said in the clip, according to AL.com. “I’m shaking I’m so mad right now. I’m fixin’ to pop this balloon. Stay tuned. It should be interesting.”
Newsweek reached out to the Tuscaloosa Police Department for comment on Saturday but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Hutchinson was released on bond later that day. He then shared another video to social media, where he explained his situation, before then asking the public to contribute to a GoFundMe page he had started to raise money for his legal fees and restitutions. He also promised that he would donate any leftover funds to the Republican Party.
“Some liberals tried to come to my hometown and start some trouble. That ain’t happening,” Hutchinson reportedly said in the video. “I did get arrested. I got charged. That’s all right. I’d do it again given the opportunity.”
As of Sunday afternoon, Hutchinson’s GoFundMe page had raised over $32,500 from roughly 1,400 donors, an amount that exceeded its $6,000 goal. The fundraiser has also been shared by 20,000 people.
“Help raise money to pay legal fees and restitutions for Hoyt,” the fundraiser’s description said. “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!!”
“Thank you for all the support!!” Hutchinson wrote on the page on Sunday. “Makes the whole situation easier to deal with knowing fellow patriots stand with us. All proceeds not needed for legal fees will be donated to the Trump2020 campaign to further support this great country.”
The post Man Who Stabbed ‘Baby Trump’ Balloon Starts GoFundMe to Cover His Legal Fees, Raises Over $32K in One Day appeared first on Newsweek.