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Man in MAGA hat arrested after dousing protesters with bear spray

Posted at 9:45 AM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 12:53:36-04

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was arrested in California after being caught on camera dousing demonstrators with bear spray at the Santa Monica Pier over the weekend, KTLA reports .

Video captured by a KTLA employee showed the man, 32-year-old David Nicholas Dempsey, being detained by police on Saturday.

The Santa Monica Police Department said officers responded to the scene after receiving reports that a young man pepper sprayed four or six people at the pier at about 1:20 p.m.

A crowd of what appeared to be anti-Trump protesters were seen chanting by the beach before moving to the pier and surrounding a small group of Trump supporters. People in the crowd were then seen pushing each other when a scuffle broke out.

The crowd, some holding Trump flags and U.S. flags, others holding orange posters that read "Trump Pence Must Go" appeared to be involved in an argument before the substance was sprayed at the panicked crowd.

Many ran away screaming and coughing. One woman was vomiting nearby, witnesses told KTLA .

Police said that Dempsey was later booked into jail on charges of suspicion of prohibited use of a tear gas weapon, assault with a caustic chemical and violating parole.

Dempsey is a convicted felon and is actually barred from possessing pepper spray or other tear gas weapons. He’s scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment hearing Tuesday.