A pro-Trump rally member is punched in the face by an anti-Trump protester as the two sides clash at a Pro-Trump rally in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
By Patrick T. Fallon
HUNTINGTON BEACH,- Supporters of President Donald Trump holding a rally on a public southern California seashore clashed with counter-protesters on Saturday and four people were arrested, law enforcement said.
Multiple struggles broke out and at least one Trump supporter was soaked with pepper spray when pro-Trump demonstrators marching along Bolsa Chica State Beach encountered a small group resists to the Republican president who had gathered to condemn the rally.
Four counter-protesters were imprisoned, three for illegal use of pepper splash and one for assault and battery, Kevin Pearsall, a spokesman for the California State Parks Police said on Saturday evening.
The fights appeared to start in the early afternoon when around a dozen anti-Trump protesters clothed in all black declined to move from a bike path to allow a great group of pro-Trump supporters taking part in the Make America Great Again rally to pass. The confrontation soared into a fight with more skirmishes quickly breaking out.
At least one person was pepper-sprayed by an anti-Trump protester, Pearsall said. Park police assess that 2,000 Trump supporters flocked to the stretch of coastline located south of the ocean-side community of Huntington Beach. Around 20 counter-protesters appeared, Pearsall said.
Known as Surf City, U.S.A., Huntington coast is located some 40 miles south of Los Angeles.
Video footage from social media transmitted to the Los Angeles Times' website showed a chaotic scene with men combating in the sand and a group of around 20 Trump supporters, some carrying Trump flags, chasing a man in a black mask far from the beach and onto a freeway. The man was stopped by the family of the California Highway Patrol, the newspaper said.
The masked man had used pepper spray on a female rally organizer and was set upon by a group of Trump supporters, the newspaper reported.
Demonstrations condemn the Trump administration have drawn hundreds of thousands since he took office in January. Smaller rallies have been staged across the country in support of Trump.
On Saturday, Trump commended his supporters.
"Thank you for all of the Trump Rallies today. Amazing support. We will all MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" He said in a message on Twitter.