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World & Nation

‘Baby Trump’ balloon slashed at Alabama protest site

Anti-Trump balloon deflated
An anti-Trump balloon sits deflated after someone punctured it with a knife at a site where a group was protesting President Trump’s appearance at the LSU-Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(Stephanie Taylor / Tuscaloosa News)

A towering “Baby Trump” balloon was knifed and deflated by someone unhappy with its appearance at a protest during President Trump’s visit to Alabama on Saturday, organizers said.

The incident occurred during Trump’s visit to watch the Alabama-LSU football game in Tuscaloosa. The balloon, which is more than 20 feet tall, was set up in a nearby park.

Jim Girvan, the organizer of a group that “adopts” out Baby Trump balloons for protests, said a man charged the balloon with a knife and cut an 8-foot-long gash in the back. Girvan said the man was taken into custody. Tuscaloosa police did not immediately respond to a request for more details.

The orange, diaper-clad, cellphone-clutching caricature of the president is often taken to Trump appearances as a way to protest him.

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Baby Trump first rose over London when local activists brainstormed a way to troll the divisive U.S. president. Now several groups raise money to bring balloon replicas around the U.S.

Robert Kennedy, a volunteer “baby sitter” who brought the balloon to Tuscaloosa, said it immediately began to sag after it was cut.

The day had been going mostly smoothly, Kennedy said. Some people yelled “Trump 2020" as they passed while others posed for selfies with the balloon. But then, Kennedy said, a man sidled up on the back of the balloon and attacked it with a knife. He ran away but was caught by police officers, Kennedy said.

Kennedy said he’s accompanied Baby Trump balloons to many appearances and never witnessed such an attack, although someone in London stabbed one earlier this year.

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“It is rare to get that kind of anger,” Kennedy said.


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