Police have arrested a 33-year-man who allegedly punched an 84-year-old woman and attacked other people at a rally in support of President Donald Trump in Aliso Viejo, California.
Alvin Shaw, a counterprotester identified as the suspect, has also been accused of assaulting a 55-year-old woman and a 74-year-old woman, KTLA-TV reported.
The altercation occurred Wednesday night when a counterprotest held in response to the rally suddenly turned violent.
Trump supporters were wrapping up their two-hour event when witness Cynthia Cantrelle-Westman said Shaw “came out of nowhere, and we thought he was going to join our group.”
“Instead he was pretty upset and he started using profanity from the minute he arrived,” she said.
“He kept coming over to me and getting in my face, and all I could say was the F-word.”
Other witnesses said Shaw blew smoke in people’s faces and punched several women.
Donna Snow said Shaw hit her in the face after he attempted to put out his cigar on her Trump sign.
“He took his hand way back like he was going to punch me, and [he] hit me right across the face,” the 84-year-old told KCAL-TV.
“He broke my earring off and just took up my whole face with his hand,” she added to KTLA.
Shaw allegedly knocked another person to the ground, and a third victim was taken to a hospital with a neck injury.
The man also allegedly pulled a knife and before a retired police officer detained him with a gun.
Deputies were called to the scene at around 6:30 p.m.
“This could have been a very serious incident,” Sgt. Dennis Breckner told KCAL.
“In this case, this was just two groups that disagree, and while we support people and their using their First Amendment rights to put out their message, we prefer that that remain peaceful.”
“Shaw was taken into custody on suspicion of elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery after allegedly attacking three people in attendance,” according to KCAL.
He was released Thursday after posting bail.
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