Car Strikes 3 at Occupy DC Protest

Authorites say the driver was not charged with a crime because he had a green light.

Saturday, Nov 5, 2011  |  Updated 11:16 PM EDT
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Darcy Spencer reports on a controversy after a car hits three Occupy D.C. Protesters.

Darcy Spencer

Darcy Spencer reports on a controversy after a car hits three Occupy D.C. Protesters.

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Occupy Protesters Surround Convention Center

Protesters from the group Occupy DC surrounded the Washington Convention Center on Friday evening, where a tribute was being held to former president Ronald Reagan.
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District of Columbia police said early Saturday that a driver will not be charged for striking three people taking part in an Occupy DC protest in downtown Washington.

Lt. Christopher Micciche of the D.C. police said the driver was not cited because he had a green light when his vehicle struck the three on Friday night.

He said witnesses told police that the three pedestrians "either ran toward or jumped in front of the moving vehicle." He said one pedestrian jumped on the hood of the car. One of them was cited for being in the roadway.

"The protesters were apparently trying to block the roadway," Micciche said. "It was essentially an accident where three individuals were injured but they were in violation by being in the roadway."

D.C. fire department spokesman Lon Walls said Saturday morning that the three were transported to two area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Hundreds of protesters affiliated with Occupy DC shut down streets Friday near the city's convention center in downtown, where conservative group Americans for Progress gathered.

The male driver of the vehicle was traveling southbound on 7th Street NW at K Street NW when the accident occurred at about 10 p.m.

The names of the driver and protesters were not immediately available.

One protester, 29-year-old Jesse Folks of Riverdale, Md., told The Washington Post that he was standing in the street with other demonstrators near the convention center when the car "just gassed it into a bunch of people."

"We were in the street, but this guy didn't even give us a chance to get out of the way," Folks said.

Micciche said witnesses provided a different account.

"They probably thought the driver would either stop or be able to stop, but it didn't appear that was the case."

Police told News4's Shomari Stone some of the protesters got inside the convention center, where a ceremony honoring former president Ronald Reagan was held.  Those protesters were quickly escorted back outside.

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