Occupy DC Protestors Hit By Car; Car Wins

So, Occupy protestors in yet another city thought it would be a good idea to get in front of a car.

So, Occupy protestors in yet another city thought it would be a good idea to get in front of a car. The details are murky but let’s just say that cars have certain advantages over pedestrians in such encounters.

WaPo Breaking News Blog (“Occupy D.C. protesters block streets near convention center“):

Hundreds of Occupy D.C. protesters blocked streets Friday night around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where a conservative group was holding a dinner.

Three people were injured after apparently being struck by a car, authorities said.

Lt. Christopher Micciche of the D.C. police told the Associated Press that the driver was not cited because he had a green light when his vehicle struck three people. 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.

The witness accounts provided by the police contradicted the description of the events some protesters gave The Post.

About 500 protesters stood in the streets at half a dozen intersections around the building, preventing cars from coming or going. Several said that their aim was to prevent those inside from leaving.

One the protesters appeared to be struck at the center of the convention center, where M Street bisects the building. Two others were standing near the intersection of New York Avenue and 7th Street NW, according to eyewitnesses.

Jesse Folks, 29, of Riverdale, said he was standing in the street with several dozen protesters near the convention center when the car “just gassed it into a bunch of people.” When asked whether the protesters should have been standing in the street at all, Folks said, “we were in the street, but this guy didn’t even give us a chance to get out of the way.”

Earlier, however, near the rear of the convention center, another group of protesters stood in front of a chartered bus for more than a half-hour as it tried to leave from the area. The bus kept honking its horn and tried to advance forward, but was repelled by the protesters who refused to yield.

In other areas around the building, some drivers got out of their cars and confronted protesters who refused to move. Other motorists stuck in traffic were more receptive, honking their horns in support of the group.

New York Post (“‘Occupy DC’ trio run over outside conservative conference“):

Three protesters were hit by a car at 7th and K Streets about 9:50pm local time, myFOXdc.com reported, with two taken to the hospital with non-serious injuries.

Police said the car hit two people, then kept driving, and hit a third person before it was stopped. The driver was in custody, police said.

One woman said she was dragged by the car for a number of feet (meters) and angry protesters swarmed the vehicle yelling “shame,” WJLA-TV reported.

So, it’s not exactly clear whether this was an accident or a frightened or frustrated driver running over protestors blocking his way. Either way, it’s probably a good idea not to try to block a very heavy metal object with the power of dozens of horses with one’s body.

While drivers don’t have a right to run over pedestrians even when said pedestrians are being assholes, neither do pedestrians have a right to block the road. DC drivers are not known for their patience or judgment in any case and putting them in a position where they might run your dumb ass over is simply inadvisable.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. It strikes me that this is as much a failure on the part of the DC police in terms of crowd control as anything else. In too many cities it seems like the attitude is to just let these people do whatever they want, including jumping out into traffic on a whim. When you let that happen, someone is inevitably going to get hurt.

  2. Several said that their aim was to prevent those inside from leaving.

    Isn’t holding people in a building against their will a crime?

  3. michael reynolds says:

    This is not the way to handle things.

    If you want to get peds out of the way you put the transmission in neutral, lean on your horn, and then gun the engine. It’s that last sound that gets people to jump aside. It’s also helpful if you can look like a furious, murderous bald guy, gripping the wheel with white-knuckled intensity while chewing a fat cigar and cursing.

    At least it works in school crossing zones.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Jeebus. When I look back at history, and hear about riots and such going on in America (like the Watts riots, the antics at the Democratic National Convention, and elsewhere), I usually think to myself, “Naw, that could never have happened in America. We’re not that kind of place.” And indeed, for most of my entire life, I have not experienced or heard about these sort of things happening in this country.

    Well, now I have. And it’s frankly terrifying. (I was there at the Summit, but left before the riot began, fortunately.) I must wonder, with all this going on, will we cope? Since it seems like the police are unwilling to arrest those engaging in harmful acts, I don’t know.

    Also, James, Doug, seriously, can you get rid of that Othello ad? I want to read your content, not have my entire screen taken over by a Youtube video of some guys prancing around on a stage. I saw that at the Defending the American Dream Summit, thank you.

  5. James Joyner says:

    @Jeremy: Yeah, that ad is annoying. Unfortunately, it’s being served by Google and, because it’s a popup rather than a click-through, I can’t even block the URL. And cutting off the most significant national ad network over one annoying ad is a further than I’m willing to go unless this becomes the norm.

  6. Gustopher says:

    Where I come from, we have a term for people who run over pedestrians in their cars — vehicular assault.

    Hopefully, the driver will be charged.

    The Occupiers might not have a right to block him, but he has no right to meet their idiocy with what might well be deadly force.

  7. Jeremy says:

    True, true. Still, I hate it when anything gets between me and the delicious OTB content…

  8. ponce says:

    I read the smartass post title and assumed Doug wrote it.

  9. ponce,

    So a “smartass post title” is okay if Doug didn’t write the post?

    Or what? What’s your point?

  10. ponce says:

    Or what? What’s your point?

    I forget sometimes that James is Republican.

    He keeps reminding us with posts like this, though.

  11. Moderate Mom says:

    I watched some videos taken at the protest last night. The protesters are playing with fire and they are going to get burned. It was not a peaceful protest in any meaning of the words. Some random nutbag actually had her two very young children with her, in a Little Tykes Wagon, and was trying to use them to block the doors at the convention center! Protesters were pounding on the glass doors, trying to get in. It’s a miracle that the doors didn’t shatter. An elderly woman, leaving the dinner, was knocked down to the ground and had to be taken to the hospital. A woman in a wheelchair was prevented from leaving via a handicapped exit by the protesters. Video from the street shows protesters defying the police when told to get out of the road, screaming the most vile names at the police.

    The more the 99% see what is going on supposedly in their name, the more disfavor OWS will be met with. They need to reign it in.

  12. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @James Joyner:

    @Jeremy: Yeah, that ad is annoying. Unfortunately, it’s being served by Google and, because it’s a popup rather than a click-through, I can’t even block the URL. And cutting off the most significant national ad network over one annoying ad is a further than I’m willing to go unless this becomes the norm.

    Don’t you guys have ad- and flash-blockers running in your browsers? Cripes, they make ’em for all browsers these days.

    James, Jeremy, stop yellin’ at those kids to get off your lawn and get AdBlock Plus!

  13. James Joyner says:

    @ponce: I’m not sure what being a Republican has to do with it. Americans have a right to peaceably assemble. They don’t have a right to riot.

    Jumping out in front of cars, attacking people in cars while on foot, or trying to block cars while on foot is just dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. If I’m in a car and a crowd is trying to block my path, I’ll try to turn around and find another route. If I feel like they’re going to rush the car, though, I’m running their dumb asses over and getting to safety.

  14. ponce says:

    I’m not sure what being a Republican has to do with it.

    James,

    You laughing at kids getting hit by a car marks you as a Republican.

  15. mwl says:

    How long will it be before the Occupiers take the next step, and burn down the building after barricading people inside? There’s already been arson elsewhere: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/29683079/detail.html .

  16. Brainster says:

    The problem is that the authorities have so coddled these protestors that they now feel like they’re invulnerable. This is going to end in tragedy at some point.

  17. Jeremy says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker: I do have AdBlock, and its not doing anything. I don’t know why. I think I’m going to hold a protest…somewhere…

  18. ponce's inner voice says:

    You laughing at kids getting hit by a car marks you as a Republican.

    And the rapes, thefts, shitting on cop cars, smashing windows, getting little boys drunk, throwing rocks and explosives at police, pushing old women down stairs, burning down buildings, and trapping handicapped people inside of buildings all mark the OWS freaks as Democrats.

  19. ponce says:

    For the record, James’ hero ran over a pregnant women and a 13 year old boy crossing the street.

    But it’s okay, heroic even, because they scared him.

  20. anjin-san says:

    This is going to end in tragedy at some point.

    I guess it depends on how you define tragedy. The Oakland PD has already sent two veterans to the ER.

  21. @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    Don’t you guys have ad- and flash-blockers running in your browsers? Cripes, they make ‘em for all browsers these days.

    Maybe some of us appreciate OTB enough to not want to cheat the operators out of the revenue.