According to jail records, Alvin Gary Shaw, a black male, was booked on Wednesday before being released Thursday after posting bond.
Witnesses told law enforcement that Shaw approached their group in Aliso Viejo and began shouting at them before punching three women, aged 55, 74, and 84, respectively, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Epoch Times.
“Witnesses said that he’d blown smoke in their face, was yelling profanities at them, and then punched several of the females,” Sgt. Dennis Breckner with the office told KTLA.
Shaw also brandished a knife, witnesses said.
That’s when a retired police officer pulled out a gun and pointed it at the suspect to hold him until law enforcement arrived.
Donna Snow, 84, told KTLA that Shaw hit her in the face after he tried putting a cigar out on her Trump sign and she asked that he not.
“He broke my earring off and just took up my whole face with his hand,” Snow said.
“He took his hand way back like he was going to punch me, and [he] hit me right across the face,” she added to CBS Los Angeles.
Video footage released publicly didn’t show the alleged assaults, but did show Shaw saying: “[Expletive] goodbye, I’m not going to be respectful when you out here disrespecting my people.”
Cynthia Cantrelle, one of the witnesses, wrote on Facebook that she was interviewed by investigators at the police station on Thursday. She said she captured pictures and video footage at the event.
“I was able to speak openly about the mayhem that took place last night with them. Fear and faith cannot live in the same house. We will go on with God at the helm in the face of adversity. Thank you Law Enforcement for keeping us safe. We know what you face each day and will pray for our enemies,” she wrote.
It wasn’t clear whether Shaw had a lawyer. He faces charges of elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault and battery after allegedly attacking three people in attendance. A mugshot wasn’t available.
Law enforcement officials said things could have gotten a lot worse.
“This could have been a very serious incident,” Breckner told CBS. “In this case, this was just two groups that disagree, and while we support people and their using their First Amendment rights to put out their message, we prefer that that remain peaceful.”