Man charged in bear-repellent attack on Trump protesters at Santa Monica Pier


A man accused of spraying bear repellent on a group of Trump protesters on the Santa Monica Pier over the weekend has been charged in connection with the attack, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

David Dempsey, 32, was arrested Saturday shortly after a scuffle broke out between anti- and pro-Trump protesters on the pier at about 1:20 p.m. According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Dempsey sprayed a can of bear repellent into a crowd, affecting several protesters and bystanders.

No one was seriously injured, but some received treatment at the scene for the effects of the repellent.


Prosecutors on Tuesday filed one felony count of use of tear gas and one misdemeanor count of unlawful tear gas activity. Dempsey is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

A group of anti-Trump protesters known as Refuse Fascism were at Santa Monica beach to launch a series of protests over the next several weeks that are part of an effort to oust President Trump. They are calling the movement #OutNow!

The protesters were met on the pier by a group of Trump supporters and the two groups exchanged chants and taunts for about 10 minutes, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

Trump supporters appeared to begin pushing and scuffling with some of the protesters. A video of the expletive-filled skirmish posted to YouTube shows a man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat circling the crowd, holding aloft a canister and unleashing a torrent of spray from it.

Police said they reviewed the video and noticed a second Trump supporter may have also sprayed the crowd. The district attorney’s office said it does not have a record of a second man being involved.

Group members said they were being peaceful when Dempsey unleashed the can of bear repellent.

“This is outrageous,” said Andy Zee, a member of Refuse Fascism. “Imagine a rally of Trump supporters and 15 anti-Trump protesters came with big sticks and mace? It would be a whole other thing. The president would be talking about it.”