Reno Police: Arrest warrants issued for driver, 2 protesters in Columbus Day incident


Screenshot of Nicholas Mahaffey before he drove his truck through protesters in Reno, Nevada, Oct 10, 2016.

Warrants have been issued for the arrests of the driver and two protesters involved in an incident in which a truck drove through protesters at the Reno Arch on Monday.

Police chief Jason Soto made the announcement at a press conference Thursday, saying two protesters had punched the driver and a passenger.

The driver, 18-year-old Nicholas Mahaffey, faces a charge of provoking assault, while the two protesters, identified as Samuel Harry and James Fletcher, could face charges of simple battery.

Soto said Mahaffey attended the protest earlier and drove past the demonstrators while shouting expletives.

Some of the demonstrators blocked the truck, and both Mahaffey and the passenger were punched, he added, showing video of them getting hit.

Five people were injured Monday, Oct. 10, when a pickup truck drove through a crowd of protesters at the Arch advocating for abolishing Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Facebook videos recorded the incident, including one that showed Mahaffey arguing with some of the demonstrators.

People had gathered at City Hall and the Reno Police Department headquarters on Tuesday and later at the Reno City Council meeting on Wednesday to demand Mahaffey’s arrest.

Soto said on Wednesday that an affidavit was being prepared to bring forward criminal charges in the incident, though he did not say police were investigating possible charges against protesters.

Mayor Hillary Schieve released a statement saying the city was still working to investigate the incident:

These past few days have been extremely difficult for the Reno community, as we’ve all struggled to make sense of the events that took place during a demonstration under the Reno Arch.It is our role to do what we can to maintain peace and order in our community. Transparency and communication will be the tools to peace, understanding and respect.We are an inclusionary community and most importantly, we need to represent the change we want to see in our community.I would like to stress that this is still an ongoing investigation and we are devoting all necessary resources available to the swift application of justice.I’m incredibly proud, along with my fellow Council Members, to represent the City of Reno, and I know that my fellow northern Nevadans can come together in times like these to make our community stronger.


Posted on October 14, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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