A man suspected of brandishing a handgun during a peaceful protest in Newport Beach and a motorist accused of driving his car through a group of demonstrators near the pier have both been arrested on suspicion of crimes including assault with a deadly weapon, authorities said Thursday, June 4.
Police stopped 58-year-old Don Wallace of Newport Beach shortly after he drove his Mini Cooper through a crowd of protesters walking in the westbound lanes of Balboa Boulevard about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, Newport Beach police spokeswoman Heather Rangel said.
The car did not make contact with any of the protesters, she said, but at least one of them told a reporter he had to push someone else out of the way to keep them from possibly being hit.
The driver of the white Mini Cooper in this video has been arrested by Newport Beach police. https://t.co/K8He5Jo4p6
— Mayor Will O’Neill (@ONeill4Newport) June 4, 2020
The protest was one of four in Newport Beach Wednesday, with about 150 demonstrators gathering near the front of the Newport Beach pier for one of the events about 2 p.m.
About an hour earlier Wednesday, about 3:23 p.m., another man was caught on video brandishing a handgun near 30th Street and Newport Boulevard, according to police.
The suspect was arguing with at least one other person when he grabbed a gun from a backpack before leaving the area, police said. The incident occurred near the protest taking place at the pier.
Tips from the public helped investigators identify the armed man as Travis Patrick White, 48, of Newport Beach. He was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.
Video taken by a passerby in a vehicle showed several people running toward a man before suddenly stopping and taking cover. Moments later, the shirtless man is seen holding a black handgun in the air while walking backwards away from a small group of people.
No, just now in NPB. This is not my video pic.twitter.com/QW1ucgnMnr
— Oliver (@OllyPO) June 4, 2020
“Through the involvement of media and local citizens, a positive identification was made leading to the ultimate arrest of Travis White,” police said in a news release. “The NBPD would like to thank everyone that provided information to detectives about the event.”