A 20–year-old was cited with a misdemeanor on Sunday after reportedly throwing a water bottle at participants in a Trump rally before causing a 3-vehicle crash.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating the incident.
According to Santa Maria Police Sgt. Nate Totorica, 20-year-old Jacob Garza passed a convoy of trucks participating in a “Stop the Steal” Trump parade just after 2 PM on Sunday afternoon in his black BMW.
Garza drove around the block, then sped back down the street, blowing past a stop sign. He allegedly threw a water bottle at rally participants on the side of the rode before speeding into an intersection and crashing into one vehicle, which then crashed into another vehicle. One vehicle was turned over onto its side.
Two people were injured in the collision. One suffered a broken arm, and another swelling. Both were transported to Marian Regional Medical Center to be treated.
In video circulating social media, the 20-year-old is seen being apprehended by Trump supporters. According to some witness reports, the suspect attempted to run away from the scene of the crash.
In the video, a man is seen holding Garza in a chokehold. A woman off camera is screaming at Garza, evidently for the danger his reckless driving caused, telling him, “I live here! I live here!”
Another man says, “You’re going to jail dude, for a long f***ing time.” And the man holding Garza in the chokehold says, “Welcome to MAGA country, mother f***er”.
“It’s hard to tell what happened first,” said Sgt. Totorica. “Some witnesses suggest he tried to run and some people grabbed a hold of him. It’s hard to tell what’s self defense.”
When police arrived, they closed down a portion of the road for half an hour and interviewed over a dozen witnesses.
“The stories we heard were definitely varied,” Totorica said, “and we saw a lot of video, but we didn’t get one full video.”
“We don’t know if he tried to flee, we don’t know if he got pulled out of the car, we don’t know how it began other than there was an altercation that occurred.”
Garza has been cited with reckless driving causing injury, and he has started a GoFundMe account, alleging that he was attacked due to his sexual orientation.
“I was targeted and attacked in the midst of a Trump rally for simply being gay,” he wrote. “I was followed and harassed which ultimately led to a multi-car accident while trying to escape. I was dragged, degraded, and assaulted until police arrived on scene. Any form of donations would be greatly appreciated for legal fees and medical expenses. Thank you for your support and understanding.”