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With its horn blaring, a tanker truck allegedly tried to barrel through a massive crowd of Minneapolis protesters on Sunday after which the driver was pulled out and attacked.
Although the motivations are still unknown, the trucker was subsequently arrested on a charge of probable cause assault and is currently in custody at the Hennepin County, Minn., Jail.
The incident occurred yesterday on Interstate 35W Bridge where authorities say about 6,000 people were marching to protest the death of George Floyd who died in Minneapolis police custody, an encounter that was prompted nationwide demonstrations that have escalated into looting and property destruction.
As suggested in video footage of the bridge incident, the crowd initially scattered and then swarmed on the truck.
First responders transported the driver to a local hospital where he received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.
Apparently there were no injuries among the protesters on the bridge either.
BREAKING: Tanker truck plows into crowd of demonstrators on Minneapolis highway. Protesters scrambled as truck battled toward them. pic.twitter.com/Q5cTF9AGB2
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) May 31, 2020
The Minnesota State Patrol and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions have launched an investigation into the incident. “[I]t is still yet unclear whether the event was intentional or accidental,” CBS Minnesota reported.
Added Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, “the truck was already on the interstate before the incident, even though it had closed about 40 minutes earlier at 5 p.m. and barriers were in place specifically for the marchers.”
Cops had to deploy pepper spray on some of the protesters as they brought the driver to a patrol car.
Here’s video of the police showing up and putting the suspected truck driver in a squad, while pepper spraying the crowd. pic.twitter.com/IBqN88DYvW
— Seth Kaplan (@Seth_Kaplan) May 31, 2020
For some, this potentially dangerous incident seemed to evoke the April 1992 incident involving truck driver Reginald Denny who was pulled from his truck and severely beaten in south-central Los Angeles in the riots that followed the police beating of Rodney King.
In yesterday’s incident, there are reports that some of the protesters sought to protect the driver from the larger group, however.
BREAKING: Hennepin County authorities have released the mugshot of Bogdan Vechirko, the driver who drove into a crowd of protesters on the I-35W bridge Sunday afternoon. | https://t.co/DagxLlPuA7 pic.twitter.com/MnBGfRPGb8
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 1, 2020
The driver worked as an independent contractor for an Ohio company which released a statement indicating that it will fully cooperate with authorities in the ongoing investigation.
Police arrested about 350 protesters over the weekend in the Twin Cities area.
Separately over the weekend as anarchy prevailed in some urban areas purportedly orchestrated by the far-left Antifa group, protesters in downtown Nashville set fire to the courthouse, and in D.C., hundreds of protesters clashed with the Secret Service just outside the White House gates. As a safety precaution, the president was reportedly taken to an underground bunker.
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