Police search for driver who struck woman at Bloomington protest

Police in Bloomington are searching for two people who were in a car that struck a woman, knocking her unconscious, and dragged a man during a protest to demand arrests after a group of white men were caught on video assaulting a Black man at a nearby lake.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 2:46 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police in Bloomington are searching for two people who were in a car that struck a woman, knocking her unconscious, and dragged a man during a protest to demand arrests after a group of white men were caught on video assaulting a Black man at a nearby lake.

Police officers responded to the collision around 9:30 p.m. Monday near the Monroe County Courthouse in downtown Bloomington, Police Cpt. Ryan Pedigo said in an email Tuesday.

A male passenger got out of a red Toyota car and went to move an electric scooter that had been left in the road near the protest site, Pedigo said. A 29-year-old woman approached the car as if to stop it moving forward, placing her hands on the hood, he said.

The driver accelerated into the woman, launching her onto the hood. At that point, a 35-year-old man grabbed the driver’s side of the car and held on as the vehicle continued to accelerate. Both were eventually flung to the ground and the car fled the scene, Pedigo said.

The woman was knocked unconscious and suffered a cut to her head, while the man scraped his arm. She was transported by ambulance to a hospital but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, Pedigo said. Authorities have not released the identities of the two who were injured and nor said if they were participating in the protest.

The red Toyota has not been located and investigators are still trying to determine the identities and location of the male passenger and female driver, police said in a news release.

Several protesters provided police with cellphone footage, Pedigo said.

The protesters had gathered in Bloomington, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis, to demand arrests in an assault on Vauhxx Booker, a local civil rights activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, over the Fourth of July weekend.

Vauxx, of Bloomington, said one of the white men who attacked him and pinned him to a tree at Lake Monroe threatened to “get a noose.” The attackers accused him and his friends of trespassing on private property.

___

Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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