Santa Monica, CA – A man wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat sprayed bear repellant into a crowd of people protesting President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday (video below).
Refuse Fascism protesters were gathered at the Santa Monica pier to protest the current White House administration when things got violent on Oct. 19, KABC reported.
The melee began with some pushing and shoving, and then bystander’s cell phone videos showed that some President Trump-supporting counter-protesters were caught in the middle of the crowd.
Cell phone video of the chaotic scene showed a man – later identified as 32-year-old David Dempsey – in a blue shirt and wearing a red MAGA hat backwards as he pulled out a can of bear spray and unleashed it on the protesters around him.
The video showed people scrambled to get out of the way and screamed for help when they were hit with the chemical spray.
Then the video showed Dempsey approached a group of people gathered around someone who was on the ground and deployed bear spray at them at close range.
Protesters surrounded Dempsey and walked him over to some police officers who were patrolling the demonstration, the video showed.
He was taken into custody and charged with suspicion of prohibited use of a tear gas weapon, assault with a caustic chemical and for violating his parole, KTLA reported.
Dempsey was being held without bail pending a court appearance on Tuesday.
Police said Dempsey was on parole from a prior weapons violation conviction, and as such, he is barred from possessing pepper spray or other tear gas weapons, KTLA reported.
Los Angeles County Court records showed that Dempsey was convicted of burglary in 2006 and 2009, and convicted of larceny and conspiracy in 2012.
Police were investigating whether a second person may have also been spraying a chemical into the crowd based on cell phone video that appeared to show more than one attacker.
Officials said none of the protesters were seriously hurt by the bear spray, according to KTLA.
Watch video of the incident below: