Witness describes how pickup truck struck protester

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) What started out as a Buffalo protest to stand in solidarity with Louisville ended up with a pickup truck striking a woman standing with a bicycle in the street in front of City Hall.

Brandan Bonner was recording the protest in Niagara Square Wednesday evening at 8:45pm when he saw a pickup truck stop near some cones in the street, rev its engine and then accelerate. “I didn’t know if she was getting ready to turn around or she was gonna gun it forward. When she gunned it my reaction was like ‘Follow the truck’, make sure we get the license plate so the person can get caught.”

A 59 year old woman who was standing on a bike in the street was struck by the truck. She was wearing a bike helmet and is now in stable condition at ECMC.

The truck continued on past Buffalo Police headquarters before pulling over on Court Street. She was surrounded by protesters, according to Bonner. “There was a white car in front of her and one of the protesters were in the vehicle and they chased her down and cornered her on the other side. That’s how she got stuck there, she got cornered in.”

Bonner says the Dodge Dakota truck had a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ sticker. At one point the driver is heard on Bonner’s video screaming, “I didn’t mean to do it.’ She then tries unsuccessfully to flag down a passing police car. The video shows one protester puncturing her tire and then she drove away.

Police eventually did find the driver and say she has been cooperating. They are still investigating and have not determined whether or not to charge her.

“There were police cars on site at a distance from the protest,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “But a decision was made that this particular group did not want the close presence of police.”

Bonner says he has recorded several protests this summer in Niagara Square before the events of Wednesday night. “It doesn’t matter if you agree with the protesters or not, you’re turning your vehicle into a weapon is a felony and you should not do that, and it should not be tolerated.”

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