Bogdan Vechirko via Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
A truck driver who drove his rig by a sizable crowd of demonstrators protesting the passing of George Floyd on a Minnesota highway will no longer face criminal charges, given he does not get into trouble with the law for the next year, multiple news outlets reported Friday
Bogdan Vechirko, 36, also prosecutors in Hennepin County reached a deal–called a continuance with prosecution agreement–under which the nation won’t move forward with the 2 charges caused by Vechirko from October 2020. He had been charged with a single felony count of earning threats of violence also also using one count of criminal vehicular operation, which will be a gross misdemeanor.
Video of the episode went viral past year, especially in light of the social justice demonstrations that swept the nation over the summer. Footage from a nearby traffic camera showed a gathering of a few hundred protesters about the Interstate 35W bridge suddenly split apart since Vechirko’s petroleum rig came barreling through, almost hitting several individuals. However, Vechirko didn’t create it all the way through the crowd of demonstrators, lots of whom subsequently turned their rage on his automobile, hitting on the truck together with solid objects, scaling the massive rig, and hitting Vechirko multiple times, causing cuts to his face and neck.
Vechirko told authorities that he had been”kind of in a hurry” coming back by delivering gas from Minneapolis and did not plan to undermine anybody or to push into protesters, the Star Tribune said. His attorney Mark Solheim said in the time that his customer”relied upon his professional instinct and coaching to avert a hard brake that could have jackknifed the truck and could have seriously hurt or killed thousands of individuals, and instead slowed his car while maneuvering through the crowd.”
Prosecutors contended that the driver should have proven to slow down and stop because there were a few hundred people standing in the road without going for several minutes and investigators reasoned that his aim was to”frighten” protesters.
Bennett Hartz, a protester who had been on the bridge once Vechirko drove through the protest, testified that he suffered severe psychological distress which persists to this day, according to the Star Tribune. Hartz reportedly told the courtroom that he still experiences nightmares and jumps at loud noises such as fireworks, stating it was a”wonder” nobody was severely hurt.
As per a report by neighborhood news outlet Bring Me The News, the details of the continuance without prosecution agreement state that the prices against Vechirko is going to probably be dropped on June 18, 2022, given that during this time he stays a”law abiding” citizen, refrains from committing traffic violations stemming from careless or reckless driving, does not get contact with any of the victims found from police reports, also completes three counselling sessions focused on victims’ concerns. According to the Star Tribune, Vechirko has completed two of the mandatory counseling sessions. He also may be required to pay restitution.
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