David Dempsey faces up to eight years in jail
By Sam Catanzaro
A 32-year-old felon has been charged with spraying bear repellent on a crowd of political protesters at the Santa Monica Pier this past weekend, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
David Nicholas Dempsey of Sherman Oaks faces one felony count of use of tear gas and one misdemeanor count of unlawful tear gas activity. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of eight years in county jail.
According to Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Lt. Candice Cobarrubias on October 19, 2019 at approximately 1:20 pm, officers working the Pier observed a fight between two groups of protestors. One of the protestors, later identified as David Dempsy, dispersed a canister of bear repellent into the crowd. Numerous protestors and non-involved pier patrons were affected by the chemical.
“Mr. Dempsey was immediately detained by officers. Harbor Services Officers and Santa Monica Fire Department rendered aid to those affected by the chemical agent. Protestors from both groups dispersed after the incident but were monitored by officers in the event another escalation started. No further incidents occurred,” Cobarrubias said.
As seen in a YouTube video posted by Be Less Stupid, Dempsey wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, sprayed protestors with bear repellent who had marched onto the Pier following a rally organized by Refuse Fascism calling for President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to be removed from office.
“It was these f—ing libtards over here, man,” Dempsey told police in video. “These commies — I didn’t do anything.”
A group of Trump supporters followed the protesters to the pier. The groups exchanged insults for around 10 minutes, according to the Los Angeles Times, before shoving one another and yelling obscenities. That’s when Dempsey pulled out the bear repellant video shows.
Police cornered Dempsey soon after the incident and detained him near the police substation on the Pier.
As reported by the Washington Post, a Facebook account appearing to belong to Dempsey regularly insults liberals and celebrates Trump.
The case against Dempsey includes allegations that Dempsey was previously convicted between 2006 and 2017 of felonies including second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit commercial burglary and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly.
The defendant pleaded not guilty charges Tuesday and is scheduled to return on Nov. 5 to set a date for a preliminary hearing in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.
The case remains under investigation by the Santa Monica Police Department.