A man seen in video wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap as he doused demonstrators with bear spray at the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday remained jailed without bail Sunday in connection with the alleged attack, authorities said.
David Nicholas Dempsey, 32, who was also accused of violating his parole stemming from a prior weapons violation conviction, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Santa Monica Police officials and Los Angeles County booking records. He was described as an Orange County resident.
He was booked on suspicion of prohibited use of a tear gas weapon, assault with a caustic chemical and violating parole, police said.
He was seen in witness video arguing with protestors opposed to President Trump when he began spraying the crowd with a large canister of pepper spray intended for deterring bear attacks. At one point, he’s seen walking up to a man who was lying on the ground and spraying him directly in the face at close range.
Dempsey was pointed out by bystanders as the person who sprayed the bear spray and he was taken into custody at the scene.
As a convicted felon, Dempsey is barred from possessing pepper spray or other tear gas weapons, police said.
In Los Angeles County, Dempsey was convicted of burglary in 2006 and again in 2009, and he was convicted of larceny and conspiracy in 2012, court records show.
Investigators were looking into the possibility a second person also sprayed irritant during the incident, the Associated Press reported.
Dempsey was scheduled to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court for an arraignment hearing on Tuesday, records show.