Reno Man drives through crowd of Columbus Day protesters, hits five [Video]
A man rammed his pickup truck through a group of activists protesting Columbus Day in Reno, Nevada. The driver hit five people, sending an elderly woman to the hospital.
The protester was part of a group advocating against the observance of Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 10. Some of the protesters were from the American Indian Movement of Northern Nevada.
Protesters said a man in a truck was harassing them earlier, and when about 40 gathered on a crosswalk under the Reno Arch at 6:40 p.m., a Nissan pickup truck driving south on S. Virginia Street stopped in front of them.
There was some sort of altercation that resulted in the truck driving through the group. One protester was taken to a hospital with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries to her legs. Four other people were treated on scene for minor injuries.
One protester recorded the altercation via a Facebook Live. The video shows some protesters and the driver yelling at one another for about a minute before the truck drives through the group.
Officers on scene took statements, but they say nobody has been taken into custody and no charges have been filed as of yet.
Police said they have surveillance footage of the intersection and would be investigating the incident.
The driver of the pickup truck stopped several blocks away and called police to provide his account of events, according to a statement. He and his passenger were interviewed and are cooperating with the ongoing investigation, and the driver has not been arrested.
Police Chief Jason Soto says detectives are using witness accounts and cellphone video to look at all aspects of the incident, though he would not tell reporters if the police are investigating the case as a hate crime.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Reno Police Department headquarters early Tuesday evening to call for an arrest.
Autumn Harry was at the demonstration and recorded her reaction to the truck driving through the group. She told News 4-Fox 11 the driver and passenger were at the rally before the incident, then followed the group, calling their actions a hate crime.
“You have to have a lot of hate in your heat for that to happen,” she said.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, on behalf of the Reno City Council, issued the following statement regarding the vehicle versus pedestrian accident that happened Monday night during a protest at the downtown Reno Arch:
This incident is troublesome and saddens us deeply. I take these matters very seriously, and I believe they must be investigated thoroughly and promptly. Public safety is our highest priority, and I want all Reno residents to know that we are working swiftly and diligently to make sense of the events that took place last night. Please be advised that the Reno Police Department will hold anyone responsible accountable for their actions once the investigation has concluded.
I respect an individual or group’s right to conduct lawful protest, and encourage people to express their First Amendment rights.
Again, I want to reiterate if anyone has any information, including photos and videos, it is extremely important that you come forward by contacting the Reno Police Department at 775-334-2115, or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.
— KOLO8 (@KOLO8) October 11, 2016