Mishawaka Police to send case of SUV driving into protesters to St. Joseph County prosecutor

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT
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Mishawaka police are continuing their investigation into an SUV driving into a group of protesters Saturday night, an incident that sent 23-year-old Trevor Davis to the hospital.

Davis said they had finished chalking the Main Street Bridge sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., when a vehicle circled the area and soon tried inching toward traffic cones that police used to block cars from entering both sides of the bridge.

"He approached the cones, and we were yelling at him to stop," explained Davis.

Davis said he was dragged several feet by the SUV, adding the driver appeared to be an older man.

Chief Ken Witkowski said his officers later stopped the SUV, the driver of which is not in their custody at this time. However, they intend to send the case to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office within the next couple of days in anticipation of criminal charges being filed against the motorist. Witkowski described some of the challenges in this investigation.

"We really wish the victim himself would come forward and cooperate with us," said Witkowski. "You know, we're trying to do as thorough job as we can."

Davis said: "I'm meeting with my lawyer tomorrow. I didn't want to give a statement until I talked to my lawyer."

Witkowski says he supports people's rights to protest, but if they're going to do it, he said they need to obtain a permit if the plan is to walk in the middle of streets. It's the same situation, he said, if people want to hold a parade or a block party: they must obtain a permit from the Mishawaka Board of Public Works and the police department.

"Technically, [the protesters Saturday night] were breaking the law because they did not have permission," Witkowski said. "We did allow it so we did block off the bridge because of a safety factor. We didn't want to see innocent people getting run over."

The name of the SUV driver has not been released at this time. Davis has one message for him.

Another protest is being held at Battell Park in Mishawaka in support of Davis. It goes from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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