What began as a California rally on behalf of President Donald Trump ended up with a 33-year-old man being arrested after three Trump supporters were attacked.
Supporters showed up to show their backing for the president on Wednesday in Aliso Viejo.
Then things turned ugly, as recounted by Trump supporter Donna Snow, 84, who said she was struck by a man who got into the Trump supporters’ faces.
“He just took his hand way back like he was going to punch me, and [he] hit me right across the face,” Snow said, according to KCAL-TV. “Broke my earrings off.”
Alvin Shaw, 33, was eventually accused of assaulting three women, aged 55, 74 and 84.
Snow said Shaw would not allow the Trump supporters to continue their peaceful exercise of their First Amendment rights.
“He just wouldn’t leave me alone,” Snow told KCAL.
“And so then he’s coming up and he took his cigar filled with marijuana or whatever and he put it on my brand-new Trump sign. Well, they’re not giving away Trump signs, OK, in California, and that made me more than a little upset. I said ‘What are you doing? You can’t do that,'” she said.
The event, less than two months before Election Day, had been going for almost two hours when Shaw “came out of nowhere, and we thought he was going to join our group,” Cynthia Cantrelle-Westman told KTLA.
“Instead he was pretty upset and he started using profanity from the minute he arrived.”
Cantrelle-Westman added, “He kept coming over to me and getting in my face, and all I could say was the F-word.”
Sgt. Dennis Breckner of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the disagreement escalated from there.
Shaw pulled a pocket knife, upon which a retired police officer who arrived on the scene drew his gun, Breckner said.
The retired officer detained Shaw and a knife was later recovered from some nearby bushes.
Shaw was charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, elderly abuse and assault, and battery, Breckner said.
“This could have been a very serious incident,” he said.
“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.”
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