Trucker Charged With Nearly Running Down Minneapolis Protesters
Minneapolis (KROC AM News) - Charges have been filed against the Minnesota driver of a tanker truck who made worldwide news when he drove his rig at a large crowd of protesters earlier this year.
The incident happened May 31st on the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko of Otsego has been charged with a felony count of threats of violence and a gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation.
Freeman says a thorough investigation showed that Vechirko “wanted to scare people out of his path and drove at the crowd at a high rate of speed. He did not stop until a person in the crowd stumbled and fell forward.”
Freeman says investigators reviewed traffic cameras and a number of cell phone videos, all of which showed protesters screaming and running in a panic from the truck. Videos showed some even jump off the bridge into grassy areas below. One person suffered minor injuries.
Freeman says Vechirko “admitted that he was kind of in a hurry “ and “hoped that if he went slow the crowd would let him past.” He says Vechirko “acknowledged that he could have stopped the truck sooner.”