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Newport Beach man arrested after video shows gun being pulled on protesters

Protesters walk along Balboa Boulevard in Newport Beach during a peaceful protest June 3 over the killing of George Floyd.
Protesters walk along Balboa Boulevard in Newport Beach during a peaceful protest June 3 over the killing of George Floyd.
(Scott Smeltzer / Times Community News)

A Newport Beach man has been arrested after police said he pulled a gun on protesters Wednesday on the Balboa Peninsula.

A video clip circulating on social media shows a shirtless man later identified as Travis Patrick White in a verbal altercation with a protester on the sidewalk at the corner of 30th Street and Newport Boulevard just before 3:30 p.m. In the video, the man pulls a handgun from his backpack and holds it aloft as a handful of demonstrators back off and one takes cover behind a parked car. The armed man backs away.

“We’ve got him pulling out a gun,” the man behind the camera narrates from a car alongside the skirmish. “He’s got a gun. He’s got a gun.”

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Newport Beach police credited media coverage and the input of local citizens in identifying White, 48, as the suspect. He was arrested Thursday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats.

The gun incident turned out to be one of two reported violent moments during Wednesday’s largely peaceful protest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protest started as a gathering near Newport Pier before becoming a march up and down the boardwalk and Balboa Boulevard.

The worldwide civil unrest caused by George Floyd’s death — by suffocation, as one officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes — largely did not slide into violence in Newport Beach, where four demonstrations were planned around the city Wednesday.

A motorist, identified as Newport Beach resident Don Wallace, allegedly sped a white Mini Cooper through a group of protesters near Marina Park, grazing several without injury before being pulled over and arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. The car’s windshield was shattered when he was arrested, but it was unclear how it was damaged.

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Several Twitter users posted video of that incident as well, showing marchers screaming, scrambling, dropping signs and chasing the car. The car narrowly missed a toddler riding in a bicycle’s child seat.

A spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that the case was not with prosecutors yet.

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