A semitrailer sped toward a crowd of people protesting the death of George Floyd yesterday forcing them to run for safety.
The driver was later identified by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department, as Bogdan Vechirko. Police said he’s being held on suspicion of assault.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety [DPS] had previously announced he was arrested and taken to Hennepin Healthcare with non-life threatening injuries.
Remarkably, DPS officials said it appeared none of the protesters was seriously injured.
Video of the incident showed the truck barreling toward the crowd of peaceful protesters assembled on both lanes of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota State Patrol said in a tweet that “disturbing actions” by Vechirko appeared deliberate, although it’s still unclear if that was the case.
Many of the protesters could be seen scrambling to get out of the way as the truck appeared to come to a stop.
As the truck stopped, the crowd dragged him from his vehicle and beat him, while protesters smashed its windshield. People reportedly threw their bicycles in front of the truck in an effort to slow it down.
Officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul had ordered the highway closed at 5 p.m. It was unclear how the semi managed to get on the highway.
DPS Commissioner John Harrington estimated about 5,000 to 6,000 people were on the bridge at the time the truck sped through.
(tractor-trailer photo courtesy of Reuters)
Bogdan Vechirko mugshot