SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A Santa Maria man was arrested Sunday after driving his vehicle into a Trump parade, causing a rollover crash and two injuries.
Santa Maria police said the Trump rally was traveling westbound down Stowell Road around 2:10 p.m.
At the same time, a 20-year-old Santa Maria man was driving eastbound on Stowell when he made a U-turn and caught up with the rally, gesturing and shouting aggressively at participating vehicles. Officers said the man even threw bottles and other objects at drivers as he passed.
While the Trump rally continued west, the man suddenly turned from Stowell onto College Drive. Several minutes later, witnesses said they saw the man driving at high speeds on Speed Street back toward Stowell.
Video taken by bystanders at the scene shows the man accelerating through the stop sign at Speed Street and Stowell Road. He then drove straight into the path of the Trump parade and crashed into one car, causing it to collide with another nearby car.
More bystander video taken after the crash shows citizens and parade participants holding the man down on the ground in the middle of the road while waiting for police to arrive.
Officers said they do not know if the suspect tried to flee the scene or not. It is unclear how he ended up on the ground.
SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A Santa Maria man was arrested Sunday after driving his vehicle into a Trump parade, causing a rollover crash and two injuries. pic.twitter.com/u2EZTw1AqT
— Arab News Today (@ArabNewsToday) November 10, 2020
Part 2 shows the wreckage, at 0:41 you see a flipped car. There were no critical injuries.
Part 2 shows the wreckage, at 0:41 you see a flipped car. There were no critical injuries. pic.twitter.com/FyqrleVOxv
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) November 9, 2020
One of the vehicle’s passengers suffered a fractured arm, while the other experienced swelling. Both were transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Stowell Road between Broadway and Miller Street was shut down for approximately 30 minutes while officers interviewed at least a dozen witnesses and reviewed several smartphone videos that were taken of the incident, according to Totorica.
“It’s hard to tell what happened first,” Totorica said, adding there’s no video showing the entire duration of the incident. “Some witnesses suggest he tried to run and some people grabbed a hold of him. It’s hard to tell what’s self-defense.”
Garza was cited for reckless driving causing injury. He did not return a call for comment.
All witness statements and videos were turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review, according to Totorica.
On Sunday night, a GoFundMe – seemingly created by Garza – began seeking $10,000 worth of donations for legal and medical costs.
In the description for the fundraiser, Garza wrote that he ‘was a victim of a hate crime by Trump Supporters.’
He continued: ‘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.I was dragged, degraded, and assaulted until police arrived on the scene.’
As of late Monday night, Garza had raised $1,655 towards his intended goal.
Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Conservative US, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Supreme Insider. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!