A restaurant owner in Little Rock, Arkansas, dumped water on a small group of Sen. Ted Cruz protesters Tuesday night, Fox 16 reports (video below).
Cruz was dining at Cache restaurant with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, while four protesters demonstrated outside. Protester Robert Nunn said he and his friends were not violating the law but exercising their First Amendment rights.
"We wanted to make sure that [Cruz] heard from us," Nunn told KATV.
It is not known whether the senator heard the protesters outside, but a restaurant employee sure did.
"I looked up and I saw, it was clearly one of the employees, he had a white jacket on and he had a bucket and I was like, ‘Hmm, what's going on with that?’ and before I knew what happened, he had dumped it," Nunn said.
Nunn is hearing-impaired and wears expensive hearing assistance gear.
"If I had been suddenly splashed with water and these electronics would've been damaged, it would've cost quite a bit to replace," Nunn said.
“Because of how outrageous it was, the things going through my head were like, did it just start raining, that sort of thing, because it didn’t even process for a while that someone would actually dump a bucket of water out on someone,” protester and U.S. Air Force member Ryan Cates said.
The men told the news station that they filed a police report but do not have any strong feelings about Cache or Payne Harding, the restaurant’s executive chef and co-owner, who claimed responsibility for the incident.
"This was a heat of the moment action driven by frustration; these actions were in no way shape or form politically motivated,” Harding said in a public statement. “Customers were having difficulty entering and exiting the restaurant and I thought it was causing a problem for my business. I did not know who the protesters were or what they were protesting.”
The four protesters saw it a little differently.
"We were at the edges of the sidewalk and made no effort to obstruct business here," Nunn said.
"We were just four people holding signs well out of anyone's way, and it’s hard for me to rationalize that could possibly be an appropriate response," Cates added.