Man pleads guilty to throwing water balloons at pro-Trump crowd: 'I did what I had to do'
President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (Associated Press)
“Actions are going to be louder than words these days,’’ Robert Dale Truax Jr., 20, said after his appearance in Grand Rapids District Court where he pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges. “Try to get three water balloons out this time. I only got out two.’’
Authorities say Truax threw the balloons into a crowd gathered outside the Van Andel Arena on March 28 as Trump addressed supporters inside. No one was hurt.
“Even though in this gentleman’s mind it might seem as if it was harmless, it certainly can get someone injured,’’ Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Cathy Williams told WZZM-TV. “And we’re not going to allow that to happen.’’
"Even though in this gentleman’s mind it might seem as if it was harmless, it certainly can get someone injured. And we’re not going to allow that to happen.’"— Sgt. Cathy Williams, Grand Rapids Police
After spotting Williams on television, Truax tweeted video of the TV report, adding his reaction.
"ITS FUNNY TO THINK I CAN HARM PPL WITH WATER BALLONS," he wrote.
Truax said he attended the rally with the intention of getting arrested, according to the station. He recorded his actions and posted video online.
“Just got done buying some balloons at Dollar Tree because we’re gonna throw some water balloons at some Donald Trump supporters,’’ he says in the 6-½ minute video. “Like you can’t be coming to my block supporting some Donald Trump s---. So you about to get hit.’’
He was charged with disturbance and faces 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
“I was trying to stand up for the people who are just against the president,’’ Truax told the station. “In a way, his supporters are just like him. I did what I had to do."