A 42-year-old Canadian man is facing multiple criminal charges after driving his Jeep Patriot through a group of protesters in Winnipeg on Friday night, injuring four people.
The Winnipeg Police said that after plowing through the crowd, the suspect fled the scene at high speed, breaking several red lights. He was eventually chased down and arrested following a “brief struggle,”according to a press release.
A disturbing dashcam video from a parked truck shared on social media appears to show the moment a white SUV drove into a group of people peacefully protesting near Broadway and Memorial Boulevard.
Police confirmed that the suspect struck four adult males, who were part of the Freedom Convoy protest at the Legislature Grounds. Three of the victims suffered minor injuries, while the fourth was taken to a hospital for treatment and later released.
The man, whose identity has not been revealed, remains in custody, charged with multiple cases of assault, dangerous operation of a vehicle, and recklessly fleeing the scene of an accident.
Police spokesperson Constable Rob Carver said that “it’s pretty miraculous that nobody sustained any serious injuries,” according to the Winnipeg Sun. Police refused speculate about the suspect’s motives, but said some of his initial comments during arrest “suggest that this was not specifically about the [Covid-19] mandates.”
The incident comes amid the so-called Freedom Convoy protest, which has spread far beyond the Canadian capital over the past week. Protesters pledged to remain in the streets until all mandates and Covid-19 restrictions are gone. Authorities blasted the protest as a well-organized disruptive occupation, painting the demonstrations as an “increasingly volatile and increasingly dangerous” nuisance to the livelihoods of law-abiding citizens.