It’s fair to say that in many precincts in America, the political arena of ideas has literally become a battlefield — especially on the West Coast, where intolerant liberals are quick to strike a blow for their cause.
An incident over the weekend on the Santa Monica Pier in California bears this out as a group of Trump supporters faced off with Trump protesters.
Both sides were sent running, with many screaming and coughing, after someone in the crowd pepper sprayed people, according to KTLA.
A man in a “Make America Great Again” hat was detained after the incident by the Santa Monica Police Department. The man seen dousing demonstrators on the pier with bear spray was also reportedly wearing a MAGA hat.
In’s unclear from the video which side initiated the contact.
David Nicholas Dempsey, 32, was being held without bail pending a court appearance, after being arrested for suspicion of prohibited use of a tear gas weapon, assault with a caustic chemical and violating parole, KTLA reported.
An Orange County resident, Dempsey was also accused of violating parole stemming from a prior weapons violation conviction, according to authorities.
Court records show Dempsey had two convictions for burglary in 2006 and in 2009, and a 2012 conviction for larceny and conspiracy.
More from the CW affiliate:
He was seen in witness video arguing with protestors opposed to President Trump when he began spraying the crowd with a large canister of pepper spray intended for deterring bear attacks. At one point, he’s seen walking up to a man who was lying on the ground and spraying him directly in the face at close range.
Dempsey was pointed out by bystanders as the person who sprayed the bear spray and he was taken into custody at the scene.
A group of anti-Trump protesters had first gathered on the beach, before reportedly moving up onto the pier and surrounding a small group of Trump supporters.
Atlas Winfrey, an organizer of the anti-Trump demonstration, stated that they first approached the Trump supporters.
“The Trump supporters were already there on the pier when we got up there from the beach,” Winfrey said.
Announcing the launch of the nationwide #OutNow protests at Santa Monica Pier where 100 people from Seattle to San Diego came together with courage & conviction to demand #TrumpPenceOutNow. Nationwide protests launch Oct 26. Go to https://t.co/UKZDDHPyJf for a protest near you. pic.twitter.com/d7AWyXGQqA
— #TrumpPenceOutNow Los Angeles (@RefuseFascismLA) October 20, 2019
People were then seen pushing each other as a scuffle broke out, which preceded the pepper spray incident.
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