TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A day after being arrested and charged with stabbing and deflating a 20-foot-tall “Baby Trump” inflatable, one Tuscaloosa man is receiving support to pay for his legal fees.
Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, of Tuscaloosa was charged with first-degree criminal mischief after cutting a large hole in an inflatable caricature of President Donald Trump that had been brought in from out of state to protest his visit to town Saturday for the Alabama-LSU game. According to police reports, officers with the Tuscaloosa Police Department arrived at the corner of Hackberry Lane and 15th Street after 1 p.m. Saturday where “Baby Trump” was located.
“Upon arrival, officers observed Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, age 32 of Tuscaloosa, cut into the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon, and then attempted to flee the area,” the release stated. “Officers apprehended the suspect and took him into custody on a charge of Criminal Mischief First Degree.”
Video taken at the scene captured Hutchinson shouting “Trump 2020” as he was being put in the squad car.
Minutes before Hutchinson was arrested, he posted a video on his Facebook profile announcing that he was going to “pop” the inflatable. The video has since been deleted from his Facebook.
“I don’t know how many of ya’ll Republicans out there got any balls about yourself, but they got that Baby Trump balloon down here on campus right now and I’m going down here to make a scene, so ya’ll watch the news. If you got any balls, come join me,” Hutchinson said. “This is pathetic. I’m fixing to get rowdy, so ya’ll pay attention. I’m shaking, I’m so mad right now, but I’m fixing to go, I’m fixing to pop this balloon, without a doubt. Stay tuned. Should be interesting.”
“Baby Trump” has been seen around the world where Trump has been, such as London, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. Over $6,500 was raised through a GoFundMe to bring it to Tuscaloosa.
Hutchinson was transported to the Tuscaloosa County Jail, but made bail and was released later that afternoon. That evening, Hutchinson posted another video on Facebook, which has since been deleted.
“I got charged, but that’s alright,” Hutchinson said. “I’d do it again if given the opportunity.”
Shortly after his arrest, a GoFundMe was started to help pay his legal fees. As of Sunday afternoon, over $32,000 had been raised, surpassing the initial goal of $6,000. The page is managed by Hutchinson and says that all proceeds not needed for legal fees would be donated to Trump’s re-election campaign.
First-degree criminal mischief is a Class C felony in Alabama that is punishable between 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.