Published: Fri, October 27, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Man drives through protesters blocking road in Southern California, leading to arrest

Man drives through protesters blocking road in Southern California, leading to arrest

The footage shows the driver of a 2013 Toyota Avalon leaning on his horn as he confronts a line of protesters. He drives through the single-file marchers slowly enough that none is thrown under his vehicle, but his attempt to push the multi-ton auto through people's bodies prompts a rush of other protesters to cluster at the auto, some slapping the hood as he continues to drive.

Video footage shows a man driving his auto slowly driving through an immigrant rights rally in Southern California, with one protester jumping on the hood of the vehicle as it lurched forward and stopped. Police stopped the vehicle shortly thereafter.

Daniel Wenzek, the driver, was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, Hawley said. But police reportedly have not yet decided on charging Wenzek with assault with a deadly weapon - with one high-ranking officer in the Brea Police Department signaling to reporters that cops do not now view this as a criminal act.

Police Chief Jack Conklin of Brea, California, said no demonstrators sought medical attention, but the SEIU United Service Workers West union said that six people were evaluated at a hospital.


The demonstrators were marching about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Investigators have asked that anyone present when Wenzek drove his auto into the crowd to call officers. Some of the protesters jumped on the hood of the auto and banged on the vehicle before police intervened, circled the auto and made Wenzek stop and exit the Toyota.

"That was the first thought that was on all of our minds", Cohen said.

"I think he was trying to get through the crowd". "We don't have any indication he was trying to harm somebody". According to the Los Angeles Times, the demonstration was held by labour union Unite over fears that changes to immigration laws could result in members losing temporary protected immigration status. The activists are concerned the Trump administration will roll back TPS for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

"The whole thing was pretty terrifying", Cohen said.

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