Escape from "the mob"

Police: Driver who lurched into crowd was 'attempting to flee from the mob'


The driver who lurched into a south Minneapolis intersection packed with Ferguson protesters was “attempting to flee from the mob” when he ran over and slightly injured a 16-year-old girl as others were atop the hood of his car, police said Wednesday. The driver, a 40-year-old man from St. Paul, was questioned moments after the incident late Tuesday afternoon on eastbound E. Lake Street at Minnehaha Avenue S., and Minneapolis police said Wednesday that the case “remains under investigation.” The man was not arrested, and no charges have been filed. A few hours later, the man’s mother said in an interview that he was coming home from work and “didn’t even know what was going on” when he encountered the crowd of several hundred blocking the intersection. The girl who was run over by the horn-blaring Subaru station wagon was taken by emergency responders to Regions Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police said. “The victim’s vehicle was damaged by a large group of people,” reads the report released Wednesday by police. “While [the driver] was attempting to flee from the mob, he struck a pedestrian. State accident report filed.” The report lists the driver as a “victim” and the injured girl under the “other” category. Much of the scene, unfolding within a few steps of the Police Department’s Third Precinct headquarters, was captured on a Star Tribune video. Additional aerial video from KSTP-TV, Channel 5, shows that the driver had paused behind a vehicle stopped in front of it, and then steered to the right around that vehicle and drove slowly into the crowd that was blocking the intersection. There were three people on the hood of his car as he knocked down the girl.
Comment: Our own drive home yesterday - a police presence was on our route. Re the girl being "other" ... you could have said "stupid"


  1. Update:

    Minneapolis police say they have talked with the driver who allegedly drove through a crowd of protesters in south Minneapolis and are now listing him as a suspect in the incident, not a victim.
    On Tuesday at 4:35 p.m., police were assisting with a demonstration on East Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue South when a vehicle drove through the crowd and injured at least one person.

  2. Update: Driver may be charged: Prosecutors weigh charges against man who drove through Mpls. protesters:

    Police have forwarded to prosecutors their investigation of the 40-year-old driver who lurched through a Minneapolis street teeming with Ferguson protesters in late November and ran into a teenage girl.

    The case involving driver Jeffrey P. Rice, of St. Paul, has been turned over to the Hennepin County attorney’s office, spokesmen for both agencies said Monday.

    The possibilities in the case range from a felony charge to no charge at all against Rice, who was not arrested after he ran into and slightly injured a 16-year-old girl as others were perched atop the hood of his station wagon at E. Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue late in the afternoon on Nov. 26.

    Should the county decline to charge, the case could move to the city attorney’s office for consideration of gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor charges.

    Rice, who pulled over and called 911, was questioned by officers moments after he rolled through the crowd. Police said in an incident report that his vehicle was being damaged as he “was attempting to flee from the mob.” Rice was not arrested.

    The report initially listed Rice as a “victim” and the injured girl under a category marked “other.” Later in the day, police changed the listing of Rice to “suspect.”

  3. Final: County won't charge man who drove into Ferguson protesters at Mpls. intersection:

    The Hennepin County attorney’s office said Thursday that it has declined to charge a 40-year-old motorist who rolled through a crowd of Ferguson protesters last fall at a busy Minneapolis intersection, where he knocked over and slightly injured one of the participants.

    “After reviewing all of the facts from the police investigation,” said a statement from the county attorney’s office regarding driver Jeffrey P. Rice, “prosecutors determined that the actions Mr. Rice took did not reflect intent or actions that constitute a crime that could be charged.”

    The county attorney’s office statement noted that Rice “possibly hit a demonstrator” but could not be prosecuted under the statute it considered, which addresses drivers’ actions after being involved in a crash. The office declined to elaborate further on it decision.

    Hennepin County prosecutors handle all felony cases in their jurisdiction and selected gross misdemeanors. The city attorney’s office has the option of prosecuting Rice, of St. Paul, with a gross misdemeanor or a misdemeanor for the Nov. 25 incident during a protest at E. Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue.

    The city attorney’s office said about an hour after the county attorney’s announcement that it had yet to receive the case from police. As of midafternoon Thursday, police have yet to decide whether to forward a case to the city attorney.


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