SMPD Identifies Suspect in Pepper Spray Scuffle on Santa Monica Pier Saturday, 10/18/19
Anti Trump Protestors Surround Group of Trump Supports, and One Uses Bear Spray
October 20, 2019
It's unclear who started it or why. But a scuffle on the Santa Monica Pier Saturday afternoon resulted in several people being pepper sprayed and one arrest.
Santa Monica Police on Monday Morning, identified the arrested person as David Dempsey.
SMPD PIO Lt. Candace Cobarrubias writes that Dempsey "dispersed a canister of bear repellent into the crowd. Numerous protestors and non-involved pier patrons were affected by the chemical. Mr. Dempsey was immediately detained by officers. Harbor Services Officers and Santa Monica Fire Department rendered aid to those affected by the chemical agent.
Protestors from both groups dispersed after the incident but were monitored by officers in the event another escalation started. No further incidents occurred."
A witness who is a KTLA employee filmed the incident with his iPhone. You may watch the video at KTLA.COM, the link is at the bottom of this article.
A crowd of anti-Trump protestors are on the video, chanting on the beach. They then move to the area of the pier in front of Bubba Gump
Shrimp Company, where they surround a smaller group of pro-Trump supporters.
The Santa Monica Police Department received reports that 2 young men pepper-sprayed four to six Trump supporters, on the pier at about 1:20 p.m. The SMPD has a satellite police station 25 feet from where the incident took place.
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 cloud is seen spreading through the panicked crowd.
Many ran away screaming and coughing. One woman was vomiting nearby, a witness said. People in the crowd are seen pushing each other before running away from a cloud of pepper spray.
Police say Dempsey was arrested for 22810(G)(1)PC-Prohibited Use of a Tear Gas Weapon, 244 PC – Assault with a Caustic Chemical and 34559(c) PC - Poses Unreasonable Risk to Public Safety.
Dempsey's facebook profile does seem to identify him as a Trump supporter.