TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A GoFundMe helped bring a “Baby Trump” balloon to Alabama, WIAT reports. Then, a man launched a GoFundMe to help him fight a felony charge for stabbing it.
The famous “Baby Trump” balloon, which depicts President Donald Trump in a diaper, first appeared in London in protest to Trump’s visit. Since then, other similar balloons have popped up in other nations and in the United States.
Protest organizers launched a GoFundMe to raise funds to bring the “Baby Trump” balloon to Tuscaloosa, pulling in more than $7,800.
The balloon was set to fly Saturday as a protest while the president was in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama-LSU game.
That afternoon, Hoyt Deau Hutchinson reportedly posted a video, which is no longer public, to Facebook announcing his plan, according to WIAT.
“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,” he said in the video. “… 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.”
At about 1 p.m., police responded to the corner of Hackberry Lane and 15th Street, where he allegedly cut a hole in the balloon.
“Upon arrival, officers observed Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, age 32 of Tuscaloosa, cut into the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon, and then attempted to flee the area,” a news release said, WIAT reports. “Officers apprehended the suspect and took him into custody on a charge of Criminal Mischief First Degree.”
After Hutchinson was arrested, another GoFundMe, titled “Restitutions for Baby Trump Stabber,” appeared to help raise money to pay legal fees for the suspect. The GoFundMe appears to have been created by Hutchinson.
The page aimed to raise $6,000, but by 1:30 p.m. Monday, it had raised more than $40,000. That is, until the GoFundMe reportedly said those donations could not be used to help the defendant.
“We have been reported by the sympathizers,” the creator wrote. “Apparently we didn’t read the fine print. Gofundme is not going to allow these generous donations to help Hoyt. They will soon likely refund all your support. Apologize for the inconvenience folks.”
The creator then added a Cash App account. It is unclear how many donations the creator has received over this app.