The driver of a semi truck who drove his tanker through a crowd of protestors has been released from jail, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, pending further investigation.
Investigator are still gathering evidence of the incident captured on a traffic camera on Sunday. The 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko drove down the crowded I-35 W freeway in Minneapolis during a protest against police violence, KSTP reports. An estimated 5,000 people were on the bridge when Vechirko drove down it.
Vechirko was pulled from his cab and assaulted by protesters. Police intervened and broke up what had previously been a peaceful protest. He was arrested and taken to an area hospital for injuries and release into police custody, according to CBS news. No protesters reported any injuries.
The freeway was officially closed at 5 p.m. but police believe Vechirko was already on the freeway before it was closed for the protest, according to the Denver Post.
Updated Tuesday, June 2, 2020 4:22 p.m EST— It is now being reported that Vechirko drove through the barriers meant to prevent traffic on the freeway. Why he did not see or heed the barriers was not addressed, Business Insider reports.
Vehicles unfortunately have become weapons in the struggle on city streets. Several protests have been rammed by vehicles, including one in New York by a NYPD vehicle over the weekend.
State officials however, don’t think Vechirko meant to hurt anyone, though he was speeding during the incident:
Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Monday that it doesn’t appear that Vechirko intentionally drove on the highway or tried to cause harm.
This is a breaking story, and we’ll update when we know more.
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