A 33-year-old man has been arrested after assaulting a number of people at a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Wednesday in Aliso Viejo, California.
Alvin Gary Shaw confronted a small group of people during the gathering, and allegedly punched two people including an 84-year-old woman.
“He took his hand way back like he was going to punch me, and [he] hit me right across the face,” said the elderly victim Donna Snow.
“He broke my earring off and just took up my whole face with his hand.”
The two-hour pro-Trump rally, which was attended by around 20 to 30 people, was about to end when Shaw “came out of nowhere, and we thought he was going to join our group,” said witness Cynthia Cantrelle-Westman.
“Instead he was pretty upset and he started using profanity from the minute he arrived,” she added.
“He kept coming over to me and getting in my face, and all I could say was the F-word.”
Another person was knocked to the ground while trying to help others, and was taken to the hospital with a neck injury.
Shaw also allegedly blew smoke in some of the supporters’ faces used his cigar to burn one person’s Trump sign.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, a retired police officer got involved and drew his gun as Shaw pulled out a small pocket knife.
He tried to run but was eventually forced to the ground by the retired officer.
The counter-protester was taken into custody on suspicion of elderly abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery after allegedly attacking three people.
“This could have been a very serious incident,” said Sgt. Dennis Breckner.
“In this case, this was just two groups that disagree, and while we support people and their using their First Amendment rights to put out their message, we prefer that that remain peaceful.”