Supporters of a man who knifed and deflated a diaper-clad “Baby Trump” balloon so the president would not see it during his visit to watch a University of Alabama football game have raised almost $40,000 to pay his legal fees.
A GoFundMe page created Saturday asks for donations to help Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, 32, “pay legal fees and restitutions” for the balloon had raised $39,641 as of Monday afternoon. The goal for fundraiser was initially set at $6,000.
Hutchinson allegedly cut an 8-foot-long gash into the back of the giant inflatable, which depicted a bright orange Trump donning a diaper and clutching a cell phone.
He was arrested and charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief after fleeing the crime scene in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, where a group of protesters had inflated the balloon for a demonstration at Monnish Park.
Tuscaloosa police told AL.com in a statement that officers observed Hutchinson cut into the balloon and then tried to flee the area shortly before the game against LSU began.
“Officers apprehended the suspect and took him into custody on a charge of Criminal Mischief First Degree. Hoyt was transported to Tuscaloosa County Jail where he was held on a $2,500 bond,” police said.
Hutchinson posted a video on Facebook before the incident, saying he was “going down here to make a scene…y’all watch the news….I’m shaking I’m so mad right now. I’m fixin’ to pop this balloon. Stay tuned. It should be interesting.”
Jim Girvan, an organizer of the balloon protests, told The Associated Press that Hutchinson charged the balloon with a knife and cut an 8-foot-long gash in the back.
After being released on bond, Hutchinson posted another Facebook video.
“Some liberals tried to come to my hometown and start some trouble. That ain’t happening,” Hutchinson said in the video. “I did get arrested. I got charged. That’s all right. I’d do it again given the opportunity.”
The GoFundMe page said Hutchinson was charged with “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!!”
Hutchinson then asked for contributions, promising that whatever was left over from having to pay to replace the balloon would go to the Republican Party.
“I’m glad all y’all enjoyed all that, better than this game right here,” Hutchinson said of Alabama’s 46-41 loss to LSU.
The “Baby Trump” balloon has become a popular symbol for the president’s critics. The balloon made its first flight in 2018 during Trump’s visit to the UK.
The post Supporters raise $40K to help man who deflated ‘Baby Trump’ balloon appeared first on New York Post.