Man who drove semi into Minneapolis protest over death of George Floyd to be released from jail

Truck driver Bogdan Vechirko, who drove into a crowd of protestors on Sunday on the I35-W bridge, will be released from jail.

His case has been deferred, pending further investigation, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Vechirko, 35 of Otsego, was arrested after driving his tanker into a crowd of people who had been protesting for justice for George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last Monday. Vechirko was briefly taken to the hospital before being booked into the Hennepin County Jail. No protestors were injured.

“From what we can tell from our interviews … we don’t have any information that makes this seem like an intentional act,” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said previously.

Protesters hand over to the police the driver of a tanker truck after he drove into hundreds of protesters marching on 35W north bound highway during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RC210H9WFCSA

State officials said Vechirko had already been on the highways when they started being barricaded. They have said that they do not believe that Vechirko meant to intentionally injure protesters, though he was speeding at the time of the incident.

“He knew the protests was going on, but it doesn’t appear that he was trying to intercept the protests,” Harrington said.

Harrington said that Vechirko “panicked,” when he saw the crowd and then slammed on the brakes when he saw a woman on a bike fall down in front of him, sliding until the tanker stopped.

Per a release from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, investigators are “in the process of gathering additional information to aid in the charging decision.”

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