The man who knifed a “Baby Trump” balloon in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, over the weekend claimed he committed the act of vandalization in the name of “good versus evil.”
Hoyt Deau Hutchinson, 32, detailed his motive in a Monday call to the “Rick & Bubba Show,” a Birmingham talk radio program. Rick Burgess, one of the show’s hosts, told HuffPost that the station was able to confirm Hutchinson’s identity.
Hutchinson said he was outraged when he saw the blimp on Saturday outside Bryant-Denny Stadium, where the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide was facing off against the Louisiana State University Tigers. President Donald Trump was in the audience.
“I was so fired up,” Hutchinson said. “I was shaking I was so mad.”
That’s when he decided to slash the 20-foot inflatable caricature of the president as a screaming, diaper-wearing infant clutching a cellphone.
“It comes a point when you gotta take a stand,” said Hutchinson, who went on to comment about his opposition to abortion. “We don’t have two parties anymore. We have good versus evil.”
Hutchinson attempted to flee the scene, but police apprehended him and charged him with criminal mischief. He was then taken to Tuscaloosa County Jail and held on a $2,500 bond, authorities said.
Demonstration organizers Trace Fayard and Nic Gulas raised nearly double their $4,000 GoFundMe goal last week to bring Baby Trump to Alabama, vowing to donate the excess funds to Montgomery’s Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal aid group advocating for fair trials and fighting wrongful convictions.
In his Monday interview, Hutchinson stated that “a lot of people my age don’t keep up with the news and politics the way they should,” noting that he’s an avid consumer of Trump’s favorite opinion broadcasts.
“I watch Fox News every night,” he said. “Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are my favorite two anchors.”
Both personalities are known to provide defensive coverage of Trump and his administration, at times offering him softball interviews.
On Saturday, Trump was met with cheers at the Alabama game ― in stark contrast to the mixed response he received at Game 5 of the World Series at Washington’s Nationals Park and during an Ultimate Fighting Championship match at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where crowds booed.
The Student Government Association at the University of Alabama warned students in advance that “any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season.”
The memo spurred media coverage and criticism online, prompting the organization to put out a second statement affirming its respect for free speech and claiming the message was only intended as a reminder about “heightened security.”