Man who drove semi into Minneapolis crowd was independent contractor for Ohio company

National

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WJW) — The driver arrested after rolling a semi into a crowd of thousands of protesters is an independent contractor from a North Canton company.

Authorities say the man has been arrested on suspicion of assault.

Authorities had said it appeared no one was hurt Sunday but some witnesses said a handful of people who were on Interstate 35W near downtown Minneapolis sought medical attention on their own. Authorities said they could not confirm that.

The freeway was among many shut down in the Minneapolis area for the second night in a row as officials imposed an 8 p.m. curfew and sought to make it more difficult for protesters to move around.

Bystander video showed the crowd parting seconds before the semi rolled through, then the tanker truck gradually slowed and demonstrators swarmed the truck.

Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Sunday that it initially appeared from traffic camera footage that the semitrailer was already on the freeway before barricades were set up at 5 p.m. State Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said at a later briefing, however, that the truck went around a traffic barrier to stay on the road.

In a statement, North Canton company Kenan Advantage Group said:

“Our hearts go out to all those who are grieving the events of this past week. We have been informed of an incident involving one of our independent contractors in Minneapolis, MN during recent protests. Our first and foremost concern is for the safety and security of the public, our employees and our customers.

We will be cooperating fully with the investigating authorities in the days ahead. It would be inappropriate to comment at this time until we have additional facts as the investigation is in its early stages. We will comment further once we have more information.”

The patrol called the incident a “very disturbing” and “inciting” action by the driver.

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