- Daniel Wenzek, 56, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after the horrifying collision
- He allegedly drove his car into the crowds during the rally in Brea, California, on Thursday afternoon
- Six people were taken to hospital to evaluation, but none were seriously hurt
- Shocking pictures and video footage from Thursday afternoon shows one protester jumping on the hood
- Union that helped organize the event said they were victims of a ‘hateful crime’
- Police believe he did not intend to drive into the group of people
A man has been arrested after he drove his car through marchers at an immigrant rights rally.
Shocking pictures and video footage from Thursday afternoon shows one protester jumping on the hood as the car lurched forward and then stopped.
Police quickly surrounded the vehicle and arrested Daniel Wenzek, 56, after the horrifying collision at the demonstration in Brea, California.
Brea Police Chief Jack Conklin said none of the demonstrators sought first aid but the SEIU United Service Workers West union later released a statement saying six people were taken to a hospital for evaluation.
The union helped organize the protest and President David Huerta said the four union members and two staff were ‘victims of what appears to be a deliberate and hateful crime.’
Daniel Wenzek, 56, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he drove his car through the crowds at an immigration rally. One demonstrator is seen clinging to the hood of the car
Police disputed that.
‘I think he was trying to get through the crowd,’ Lt. Adam Hawley said. ‘We don’t have any indication he was trying to harm somebody.’
The demonstrators were marching about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They were urging Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce to support an existing temporary immigration program for citizens of several Central American countries, said Andrew Cohen, a spokesman for Unite Here Local 11, a union representing hotel, food service and airport workers.
A video released by Cohen showed the car pushing through a line of demonstrators marching in a crosswalk. Several protesters pounded on the hood and one was pushed as the car inched ahead.
Another demonstrator jumped on the hood as the car pulled ahead perhaps 50 feet, then stopped in the middle of the intersection as police rushed in and ordered the marchers to get away from it.
Wenzek was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, Hawley said. He was later released pending results of the investigation.
Cohen said Wenzek did not say anything as he drove through the protesters.
A woman who answered a phone number linked to Wenzek refused to allow an Associated Press reporter to talk to him and hung up.
Records show Wenzek was convicted in 2006 of committing lewd acts against a child under 14.
Shocking pictures and video footage from Thursday afternoon shows one protester jumping on the hood as the car lurched forward and then stopped
A Brea police officer keeps demonstrators away from a motorist after he plowed into the crowd at the event
Brea police Chief Jack Conklin said none of the demonstrators sought first aid. He said he did not know why the man drove through the intersection where people were gathered