- The Washington Times - Monday, November 11, 2019

The Alabama man who ripped a hole in the “Baby Trump” balloon at Saturday’s football game has raised $42,000 in two days for his defense on GoFundMe.

Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, of Tuscaloosa was charged with felony criminal mischief after he stabbed the 20-foot orange inflatable depicting the president in a diaper outside Saturday’s Louisiana State-Alabama game.

The balloon, a popular prop at anti-Trump demonstrations, was part of a protest against President Trump, who attended the game in Tuscaloosa with First Lady Melania Trump.

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Mr. Hutchinson started the GoFundMe page with a goal of $6,000, which he had far exceeded by Monday night, collecting $42,000 from 1,800 donors, according to the page, “Restitution for Trump Baby Stabber.”

A Monday post on the page said that GoFundMe would not allow “these generous donations to help Hoyt” and that the crowdfunding site “will soon likely refund all your support,” but GoFundMe said that wasn’t the case.

“The campaign is active and Mr. Hutchinson is permitted to withdraw the funds,” said GoFundMe spokeswoman Madeline Purdue in an email to the Washington Times. “The funds are being held by our payment processor until Mr. Hutchinson’s banking information is added to the campaign.”

In an interview Monday on “The Rick & Bubba Show,” Mr. Hutchinson said he smiled and pretended to take a photo of the balloon as the anti-Trump crowd shouted, “Lock him up,” before using a material cutter with a razor to slice “Baby Trump.”

“I walked up and said, ‘Lock this up,’” Mr. Hutchinson said on the WZZK-FM show in Birmingham.

He said he vandalized the balloon because “I was so tired of it, man.”

“It comes a point when you’ve got to take a stand,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “We don’t have two parties anymore. We have good vs. evil. When you got one party that says it’s okay to kill babies—and by the way, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a liberal get mad about chopping up a baby.”

GoFundMe’s restrictions include prohibiting fundraising “for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, serious disabilities or diseases, or financial crimes or crimes of deception.”

Felony criminal mischief carries a penalty of one to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, according to CBS 42 in Birmingham.

Mr. Hutchinson, who shouted “Trump 2020!” as he was arrested, was released on $2,500 bail.

“He was charged with a felony criminal mischief after deflation of the disrespectful baby trump balloon,” said his GoFundMe page. “Hoyt made sure our beloved president didn’t have to see this disrespectful balloon on the streets of Ttown today!!”

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