A Santa Maria, California man — who claims he was “followed and harassed” and “targeted and attacked” by Donald Trump supporters — allegedly crashed his car at a Make America Great Again rally Sunday afternoon.
As reported by The Santa Maria Times, Police Sgt. Nate Totorica says the alleged incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. at a parade where Trump supporters drove their vehicles westbound on Stowell Road. Noozhawk says the event was titled “Stop the Steal.”
According to authorities, a driver in a BMW, identified as 20-year-old Jacob Garza, was heading in the opposite direction before driving around the block and then allegedly through a stop sign.
Garza allegedly passed through the trucks at a high speed and threw a bottle at the participants before colliding with another vehicle, causing it to roll onto its side.
The Santa Maria Times says one of the vehicle's passengers suffered a fractured arm, and another experienced swelling. Both were transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment.
As seen in a social media video posted by Instagram user @ab3anater, Garza was wrestled to the ground and appears to be placed in a chokehold.
"Welcome to MAGA country ------------!" one person says in the video.
While the video does not show the alleged crash, it does show a heavily damaged car rolled onto its side.
Though Tortica says officers interviewed at least a dozen witnesses and reviewed several smartphone videos that were taken of the incident, he admits, “It's hard to tell what happened first.”
"Some witnesses suggest he tried to run and some people grabbed a hold of him. It's hard to tell what's self-defense,” Tortica added via The Santa Maria Times.
“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,” Tortica was also quoted saying via Noozhawk.
TMZ reports on Monday that Garza was given a misdemeanor citation for reckless driving causing injury.
On Monday, Garza started a GoFundMe page, on which he alleges he was the “victim of a hate crime by Trump Supporters.”
“I was targeted and attacked in the midst of a Trump rally for simply being gay. I was followed and harassed which ultimately led to a multi-car accident while trying to escape,” Garza claimed. “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.”
As of this writing, the page has raised a little over $2,100 out of its $10,000 goal.
Per Noozhawk, Santa Maria officials said Monday that their initial investigation did not reveal evidence of a hate crime or that other drivers followed Garza when he turned off Stowell Road.