A car rally to reelect President Trump paraded from upper State Street and through Santa Barbara down to Cabrillo Boulevard, drawing an estimated 300 participants. The parade organizers had estimated 50 people might take part, but Republican enthusiasm grew for the Saturday-afternoon event.
A police spokesperson said the caravan and onlookers were well-behaved for the most part. The exception was when an as-yet unidentified suspect snatched a Make America Great Again hat and American flag from a Trump supporter at East Beach. In a video shared with the media by the Santa Barbara Police Department, the suspect can be seen pushing a man in the chest forcefully, causing him to pitch backward onto Cabrillo Boulevard. He was unable to drive his car after that and was taken by medics to the hospital.
A small group having a picnic at the courthouse lawn told Independent reporters that they watched the parade go by but were taken aback by one vehicle. It was apparently a vintage Jeep carrying what looked like a machine gun mounted on the back. “Can you honestly drive around with a friggin’ gun attached to something?” one of them asked.
A police officer acknowledged seeing a military-style vehicle but hadn’t noticed any weapons on the one he saw. The parade was thought to be organized by out-of-towners, but parking stickers and business placards on many of them were from Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Republican Party members said they’d posted the notice at the local GOP website when requested but referred reporters to the Tea Party & Culpepper Society regarding the parade. Phone calls to request information were not returned.
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