Several peaceful protesters demonstrating on the Vineyard drive overpass above 101 were assaulted Tuesday morning by a man who disagreed with their politics. 46-year-old Miguel Olivares of Arroyo Grande stopped and confronted the group of 6-8 mostly senior citizens who were conducting what they called a “pro-democracy” demonstration.
A heated argument ensued during which Olivares pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed six members of the group. Because two of the victims were over 65, Olivares was charged with two counts of felony elder abuse with great bodily injury. He was also arrested on suspicion of unlawful use of tear gas and resisting arrest.
One of the protesters says they gather routinely on the overpass to promote democracy, voting rights, women’s rights and gun control. She says their next demonstration is October 4th.
After a scuffle with deputies, Olivares was arrested . He was booked at the county jail.