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Prosecutors agree to drop charges against tanker driver swarmed by protesters on Minneapolis bridge


Prosecutors have agreed not to move forward with charges against a truck driver who was accused of driving into a large group of protesters in Minneapolis last summer.

On Friday, Hennepin County prosecutors and 36 year old truck driver Bogdan Vechirko entered into a “continuance without prosecution” agreement during an online court appearance.

Per the agreement, prosecutors will no longer pursue a felony count of threats of violence and a gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation against Vechirko as long as he doesn’t get into legal trouble in the next year.

As part of the agreement, Vechirko is participating in a “restorative justice program” and will pay restitution, WCCO reports.

The charges against Vechirko stem from a March 31, 2020, incident during which the truck driver was swarmed by hundreds of people protesting the death of George Floyd while driving onto the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. He was initially physically attacked by protesters before bystanders and police came to his defense. His wallet and cellphone were stolen during the incident.

Vechirko later told police that he was returning from a delivery and had not intended to drive into the protest. He did admit that he was “kind of in a hurry” when the incident took place.

According to the criminal complaint issued months after the incident, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that “the thorough investigation showed that Vechirko wanted to scare people out of his path” and that “investigators also spoke to numerous people who said that they thought they were going to be struck or killed by the truck.” Freeman’s office also said that one person suffered from scrapes and abrasions to her leg while trying to get out of the way of the truck.

In addition to having items stolen during the incident, Vechirko suffered cuts to his face. None of the protesters have been charged in relation to the physical attack against Vechirko.


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