2 arrested, 2 wounded after car drives through demonstrators in Yorba Linda

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Authorities say a person was struck by a car and injured during a Black Lives Matter protest and counter-protest in Yorba Linda on Sept. 26, 2020. (Southern Counties News)

Two people were struck by a car and injured Saturday during a Yorba Linda demonstration involving members of Black Lives Matter and counter-protesters.

Another two people Tatiana Turner, 40, of Long Beach and Jason Mancuso, 46, of Anaheim — were arrested following the afternoon protests, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Turner is the person suspected of driving into demonstrators, and she stands accused of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, sheriff’s officials said. She was expected to be booked into Orange County Jail.

Mancuso was taken into custody on suspicion of failure to obey a dispersal order issued by authorities, officials said.

The injured people were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Carrie Braun, spokeswoman for the department. Sheriff’s officials later described their wounds as major.

The incident occurred as members of Black Lives Matter demonstrated against police brutality and systemic racism. Officials said the protests also involved a group called Caravan for Justice.

Counter-protesters crossed six-lane Imperial Highway and confronted the BLM protesters, authorities said. The protesters also confronted each other in the parking lot of the Yorba Linda public library, Braun said.

About 30 minutes after the demonstrations started, sheriff’s officials said they began receiving reports of physical altercations between the groups. At least one individual pepper sprayed another protester, officials said. The crowd grew during that time to around 250 demonstrators.

Around 3 p.m., after authorities issued several orders to disperse, a white sedan went through the crowd in the parking lot of the Yorba Linda Public Library, hitting and injuring two people, according to sheriff’s officials. People chased the car as it tried to drive away, and it was eventually stopped and was surrounded by police, Braun said.

Officials said Turner, the suspected driver, is believed to be part of a group called Caravan for Justice. On Sept. 17, the Sheriff’s Department first learned of a demonstration supposedly being planned by Caravan for Justice and expected to take place in Yorba Linda at 2 p.m. Saturday. Officials said they learned of counter-protests planned shortly after.

According to sheriff’s officials, Turner was detained a short distance away from the protests.

The Register reported it was not known how fast the car was going. The back windshield had been broken out, and it had a flagpole sticking out of it. The front windshield was smashed, the Register reported.

An unidentified woman is taken into custody after witnesses said she drove her car into a crowd of protesters in Yorba Linda, Calif., on Sept. 26, 2020.(Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)
An unidentified woman is taken into custody after witnesses said she drove her car into a crowd of protesters in Yorba Linda, Calif., on Sept. 26, 2020.(Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)

Braun said there were 300 people total and at some point it was declared an unlawful assembly and dispersal orders were given.

Officials said the crowd dispersed and streets were reopened by about 4:30 p.m.

On Thursday night, a protester was struck by a pickup truck during a march in Hollywood and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Los Angeles police said Friday the preliminary investigation found that the driver was attempting to maneuver through the crowd when protesters began beating the vehicle with sticks and attempted to open the door.

The driver was attempting to drive away from the situation when he struck the protester. The driver stopped several blocks away and cooperated with officers. He was released pending the outcome of the investigation.

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