Over the weekend, a group of people protesting against President Donald Trump’s administration gathered on Santa Monica Pier in California. But it got ugly on Saturday when a group of people in support of Trump’s reelection campaign shoved their way into the protestors, The Washington Post reported, holding American flags and wearing shirts and hats supporting Trump. Then 32-year-old David Nicholas Dempsey was arrested for spraying bear repellent into the crowd.
After the Trump supporters shoved their way into the protestors, Dempsey, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, pulled out a can of bear repellent and sprayed it all over the crowd and into peoples’ faces. He was arrested for both violating his parole and assaulting the crowd with a caustic chemical, KTLA reported.
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“It was these f—— libtards over here, man,” Dempsey told police that day in a video captured at the scene. “These commies — I didn’t do anything.”
But the video tells a different story. Dempsey pulls the bear repellent out of his pants and sprays across the crowd. Two Trump supporters grabbed a protestor and held him on the ground while Dempsey sprayed him in the face, the video shows.
Dempsey and another man arrested, who said he is Dempsey’s brother, told police that the protestors attacked them, the Washington Post reported. Police told The Associated Press that a second man may have turned pepper spray on the crowd of protestors, and they are analyzing the video to identify that person.
Dempsey has an extensive criminal record and is a convicted felon. In Los Angeles County, Dempsey was convicted of burglary in 2006 and again in 2009, and he was convicted of larceny and conspiracy in 2012, KTLA reported. He also has a prior weapons violation conviction.
“Saturday’s desperate violence by remnants of Trump’s tattered alt-right coalition is another example of why city leaders and law enforcement need to continue to take these attacks on community safety seriously,” Eric Ward, executive director of the Western States Center, a nonprofit that works to counter far-right extremism, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “These individuals must be held responsible for intentionally sowing chaos and violence in communities.”