Bakersfield police arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder who they said drove a small SUV into a group of protesters and injured at least one Friday evening in downtown Bakersfield.
The incident occurred during a demonstration in front of Bakersfield Police Department headquarters. The BPD said 200 to 300 individuals protested in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed May 25 in Minneapolis while being arrested by a police officer.
The rally was one of many taking place throughout the country in recent days regarding the incident.
The BPD said in a news release that Michael Tran, 31, drove by protesters several times in a Toyota RAV4. He engaged in conversation with them and possibly antagonized the group, police said.
The release stated Tran gestured at several protesters, who approached the car. Tran accelerated quickly and drove through the crowd, hitting a 15-year-old girl and causing minor injuries, police said.
Officers arrested Tran nearby and booked him into Kern County jail, according to the release.
Police said while a majority of protesters obeyed the law Friday, several blocked Truxtun Avenue, threw bottles and rocks at officers, and vandalized the BPD Fallen Officer Memorial.
Just before 9 p.m. several protestors refused a lawful order to disperse, according to the BPD. As a result, 10 individuals were arrested on suspicion of resisting and obstructing officers.
Anyone with information related to the vehicle assault or vandalism of the police memorial is encouraged to call 327-7111.