Truck plows through Nevada crowd during Columbus Day protest


RENO, Nev. (AP) — The founder of a Native American rights group that was rallying in Reno, Nevada, when a pickup truck plowed through protesters wants to know why police haven’t arrested the driver.

One woman remained hospitalized Tuesday with non-life threatening injuries. Four others suffered minor injuries Monday night in what one witness described as a hate crime.

A Facebook Live video of the protest shows a pickup truck revving its engine in front of the crowd in Reno’s downtown. Several protesters confronted the driver and the passenger before the truck drives through the crowd at about 6:40 p.m. Monday.

The driver of the white Nissan pickup stopped several blocks away and called police “to provide his account of the events,” Reno Police Sgt. James Pitsnogel said in a statement early Tuesday. The driver and a passenger were interviewed and are cooperating, he said. No other details were released.

Mike Graham, founder of the Oklahoma-based United Native American Association, said he planned to meet with Reno police Tuesday to find out more about the incident.

“We are truly upset that he is not in custody. He left the scene of an accident,” he told The Associated Press.

“It was a hate crime,” Quanah Brightman, executive director of San Francisco-based United Native Americans Inc., told the Reno Gazette-Journal. The protesters were speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota when the truck approached, she said.

Graham was in Reno for the protest but wasn’t present when the truck drove through.

“Everything that I’ve gathered from the people who were there is that the individual knew what was going on,” Graham said Tuesday. “He did not like it and he chose to charge forward knowing people were in front of the vehicle. It can’t be justified as anything other than he has a racial problem with Indians.”

(Copyright (c) 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)