As anti-Trump protesters crowded between the marker for Route 66′s westernmost point and the bright blue police station on Santa Monica Pier on Saturday afternoon, the latest violent political attack unfolded steps from the California beach.
About a dozen right-wing demonstrators carrying American flags and wearing shirts supporting President Trump’s reelection bid shoved their way into the leftist protest. The anti-Trump crowd, arms linked, stood their ground and pushed back. Then, a man wearing a backward “Make America Great Again” cap over his blond man-bun pulled a canister of bear repellent out of his jeans and sprayed the Southern California crowd with a mist of peppery aerosol.
Police announced Sunday that they arrested David Nicholas Dempsey, 32, on felony charges for allegedly violating his parole, using a prohibited tear gas weapon and assaulting the crowd with a caustic chemical, KTLA reported.