TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man charged with criminal mischief in the slashing of a towering "Baby Trump" balloon has defended his actions, saying it was a matter of good versus evil.
Al.com reports Hoyt Deau Hutchinson called the syndicated radio show "Rick & Bubba Show" on Monday to describe what happened. Hutchinson said he was shaking in anger when he drove past the balloon and its handlers Saturday during President Donald Trump's visit to see Louisiana State play against the University of Alabama.
He yelled at the protesters, but then realized they might have seen him, so he bought a University of Alabama shirt to better blend into the crowd and get close to the balloon, he said. Pretending he wanted a picture with the balloon, Hutchinson said he used a material cutter with a sharp razor to slice the symbol open.
The orange, diaper-clad caricature of the president is often floated at Trump appearances to protest and mock the president, which the balloon shows clutching a cellphone. The balloon measures over 20 feet (6.1 meters) tall and was left with an 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) gash in its backside.
"I get so mad about people not taking a stand," he said. "The left wants to use religion against you like you shouldn't act like this and stuff but I'll tell you this — the Devil knows the Bible as good as we do."
Asked if the slashing was Hutchinson's attempt to echo the Biblical story of Jesus turning over the temple tables of money changers, he said yes.
"It comes a point when you gotta take a stand. We don't have two parties anymore. We have good versus evil. When you got one party that says it's OK to kill babies and by the way, this is the first time I'm ever seen a liberal get mad about chopping up a baby."
He said he yelled "Trump 2020" as he was being arrested. He later posted bail and was released.
When asked about his motivations, the 32-year-old Hutchinson told the radio station he keeps up with politics by watching Fox News and his two favorite anchors, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
"I'm not young but I'm not old. I'm sort of middle aged. I feel like a lot of people my age don't keep up with the news and politics the way they should," he said.