Driver who pushed through protesters tells police his car sustained $3,000 in damages

A driver pushed through a group of protesters marching in downtown Portland on Oct. 6, 2018. KATU photo

PORTLAND, Ore. – The driver who pushed through a crowd of protesters in downtown Portland Saturday told police his vehicle sustained $3,000 in damages during the incident.

Police say they contacted the driver of the silver Lexus.

KATU News contacted the driver at his home in Southwest Portland Monday afternoon.

The driver says he was following two other cars that made a right-hand turn when one protester stepped in front of his car and others surrounded it.

A KATU News photographer recorded the moment when the man drove through protesters in the street, striking at least one of them. At the time, the walk sign was on in the crosswalk. The driver made a right turn into the crosswalk.

Hundreds of people were marching in the street Saturday to protest police use of deadly force a week after officers shot and killed 27-year-old Patrick K. Kimmons.

After pushing through the protesters, the driver accelerated down the street.

March organizers Teressa Raiford says she was at that intersection and tried to get the driver to stop until the protest passed.

"Well, we were just motioning to the driver that, 'Hey, there's a protest and you can't move forward because there's no way' -- like, you know, unless you're trying to hit these people -- there's no, no way to stop the protest from coming towards you," said Raiford.

Police say the driver was unable to give officers descriptions of the people who he says caused the damage to his vehicle.

Police say they haven't received any reports from protesters concerning the incident.

Authorities say no one they know of was hurt during the confrontation.

Protesters didn't have a city permit for the march. Police say the incident is an example of why demonstrators should have permits, so police can keep drivers and protesters separated.

"Recognize that it can be dangerous not only for marchers in a group, but also for drivers as well," said Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley.

Police say they have opened an investigation into the incident based on the driver's call to 911 after the confrontation.

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