Santa Maria Times, Calif.
Nov. 10—A video posted to social media that appears to show a physical altercation between two men during a political rally in Santa Maria on Sunday is under investigation by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
The incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. during a parade of Donald Trump supporters driving their trucks westbound on Stowell Road, when it was interrupted by a driver in a black BMW, according to Santa Maria Police Sgt. Nate Totorica.
The BMW’s driver, identified as 20-year-old Jacob Garza, of Santa Maria, passed the trucks heading in the opposite direction before he drove around the block and allegedly through a stop sign and the convoy at the intersection of Stowell Road and Speed Street.
As Garza passed through the convoy of trucks at a high rate of speed, he allegedly threw a bottle at the rally’s participants before colliding with another vehicle in the eastbound lane of Stowell Road, causing it to roll onto its side, according to Totorica.
One of the vehicle’s passengers suffered a fractured arm, while the other experienced swelling. Both were transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Shortly after the collision, Garza is seen being wrestled to the ground and struggling to free himself after being placed in a chokehold by an unidentified man as bystanders scream obscenities, according to the video.
“Welcome to MAGA country motherf—ker!,” the man says in the video.
Stowell Road between Broadway and Miller Street was shut down for approximately 30 minutes while officers interviewed at least a dozen witnesses and reviewed several smartphone videos that were taken of the incident, according to Totorica.
“It’s hard to tell what happened first,” Totorica said, adding there’s no video showing the entire duration of the incident. “Some witnesses suggest he tried to run and some people grabbed a hold of him. It’s hard to tell what’s self defense.”
Garza was cited for reckless driving causing injury. He did not return a call for comment.
All witness statements and videos were turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review, according to Totorica.
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