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Nurse punched after protesters say she drove into crowd

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Posted at 7:05 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 19:05:45-04

Police in Northern California say a nurse driving home from her shift at a hospital was assaulted after she encountered a group of protesters who say she intentionally drove into the crowd.

Santa Rosa police say they are investigating but add that video evidence does not show that the woman purposely drove into about 100 people marching Saturday night. The woman told officers she was punched in the face by a man who followed her after she drove away from a “swarm” of people blocking her vehicle.

Protesters initially said a teenager on a bicycle had been injured but no victims have come forward to police.

"SRPD officers met with several protesters who believed that the driver of the SUV intentionally drove through the crowd. There was some discrepancy as to how fast the vehicle was driving. Several protesters provided video footage of the incident to the officers on scene," police said in a statement. "The videos show the protesters taking over all lanes of traffic on Sonoma Avenue, heading eastbound. It also showed it was dark outside. In the videos, it is clear that the vehicle is approaching the crowd and you can hear several people yelling profanities at the driver. At one point, protesters surround the vehicle and the vehicle is struck by several unknown objects and a skateboard. Because the vehicles’ path was blocked by protesters, the driver tried to maneuver her way out of the crowd until her path was clear. There is no indication from the videos that the driver was trying to run over protesters on purpose."

Video of the incident has not been released.