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Bend driver cited, accused of crosswalk collision during protest march

(Update: Adding video, comments from woman who was struck)

Allegedly struck woman pushing child in baby stroller

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend police have cited a Bend driver on assault and recklessly endangering charges for allegedly striking a woman pushing a baby stroller in a crosswalk during last Saturday's "Walk for Justice," Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Friday.

The marchers were proceeding from the Old Mill District to downtown Bend. Along the route, the marchers walked across Northwest Lava Road, in a crosswalk, at the intersection of Lava and Southwest Industrial Way.

The driver, David William Hart, 52, was driving a Jeep heading southbound on Lava Road, Hummel said. When Hart reached the intersection with SW Industrial Way, he had to wait for the marchers who were in the crosswalk. 

"After waiting for a few minutes, Mr. Hart did not want to wait any more, so he edged his car slowly into the crowd in the crosswalk," Hummel said. "When he did so, he struck one woman and one baby stroller."

Hart was charged with four counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of fourth-degree assault.

"He was using his vehicle to disperse," the woman who was struck, Karen Spears Zacharias, told NewsChannel 21 on Friday. "He wanted us out of the drive. He had been yelling even prior to us getting to the drive.

"We were on the sidewalk. So I had seen him engaging or yelling at the marchers in front of me. Everyone was doing a good job of trying to social distance.

"But when I got dead center in front of the Jeep, it was right about that time -- what I remember clearly is that my grandson's stroller was aligned with the tire of the Jeep," she said.

Neither Zacharias nor her grandson needed medical treatment. She said she'd like to see the Jeep's driver give a large donation to Black Lives Matter.

While fourth-degree assault can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on certain factors, Hummel told NewsChannel 21 the charge against Hart is a misdemeanor, as state law dictates, because the alleged victim is not the parent of children who witnessed the alleged crime, nor does she live with the children who were there.

"The statute is specific, as to what qualifies as a felony -- no discretion for me here," he said.

Bend police had said Wednesday they were seeking any witnesses to the reported collision they said occurred around 3:15 p.m. Saturday involving a vehicle that might have hit someone pushing a child in a stroller during the march, which drew more than 1,000 participants.

Hummel said in a statement, “Thank you to the community members who came forward to report what they observed and to the Bend Police Department, who conducted a thorough investigation."

"In our community, people are free to express their beliefs in lawful and peaceful assemblies," the DA continued. "I will not stand idly by when someone endangers other people exercising their constitutional rights to seek redress of their grievances.

"That having been said, this case will not be about the merits of the beliefs of the marchers," Hummel added. "This case will be about whether David William Hart committed the crimes for which he is charged. He will carry the presumption of innocence throughout the process and will be afforded due process of law.”  

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Comments

102 Comments

  1. So, Mr. Hummel, you are giving a pass for the people violating the crosswalk laws at the lights, why not enforce those laws as well? Just picking and choosing which laws you believe will get you the most press and air time, possible more votes, reeks of a biased agenda.

    1. I believe you can legally cross a street wherever you want, drivers just don’t have to yield outside of crosswalks. In that situation, timing and going behind cars makes it doable. I do it all the time. And if you’re driving and you hit a pedestrian outside a crosswalk, you likely won’t be cited but you may lose a civil case if you could have but didn’t avoid the accident.

          1. are you just going to argue with everything, including the color of the sky, or are you really that dim? – sounds like you just want some people run over ‘cus you don’t like that they don’t conform to your proclivities – way to piss on what our country is all about

    2. From the ACLU website:
      “The government can’t prohibit marches on public sidewalks or streets, or rallies in most public parks or plazas.”

    3. Pedestrians pretty much have the right-of-way in crosswalks, and in many cases when out of a crosswalk. What we have here appears to be an angry driver with a deadly weapon. Tolerance and a bit of patience, and we can all get along.

      1. If the protesters were deliberately blocking the road, no matter if it was a crosswalk or not, it would constitute an illegal stop and the driver has every right to SLOWLY proceed and if anyone continues to attempt to keep him illegally stopped then it is their problem if they get hurt.

        1. Really? What’s your theory here? You don’t think these “protesters” could also be called “pedestrians,” individually walking in a crosswalk, and thus entitled to the right of way?

        2. Did the parents give permission for grandma to take their baby to a BLM protest? Given the liable to change rapidly and being unpredictable sometimes for the worst nature of these protests. And then to possibly of endangering the child by risking exposure to covid 19? Appears Mr. Hart’s nudging was the least of poor decisions made that day not only by the driver, but the grandmother and the baby’s parents.

        3. Looking forward to your quoting the statutes supporting your legal opinion, if any.
          There will be more marches in Bend, so why not drive on by and test your ideas?

        4. Says you, You can’t just make stuff up like the orange bag of feces in the White House because it “sounds right” to you. How about backing up some of those assertions with some factual legal background? Nope? Didn’t think so. Thanks for playing.

        5. “Stop and remain stopped for pedestrians until they have cleared the lane in which you are traveling (or into which you are turning) and the next lane.“
          “If a driver fails to stop for a pedestrian crossing with a traffic control device or crossing in a crosswalk, the driver may be cited for a fine over $250.“ OR Crosswalk Laws. or.gov
          Please enlighten us with where it says that a car has the right to deliberately run into a pedestrian. Jeez!

      2. Tolerance? This guy has no tolerance. If you all want to know what he’s about check out his Facebook page.
        Boycott Guarantee Carpet and Rug Cleaning if you care about grandmas and babies.

    4. Obviously, in Mr. Hummel’s mind, the rule of law is only applied to those who share his beliefs. Too bad for the rest of us. He needs to go away next time he is on the ballot.

    1. Why couldn’t the protesters just stop crossing for a minute to let the cars by that had been waiting forever? Oh wait, it’s because the protesters actually have no tolerance or thought for other people and just follow the outrage culture.

      If I had a baby in a stroller and saw someone that had been waiting there for a long time, I would not cross the street, especially in a protest.-

      isn’t it funny how in left wing protests they always are blocking traffic, yet in right wing protests they actively try to let the traffic go by. Just goes to show you who has tolerance and who doesn’t.

      1. because it is a protest – have you no understanding of American history? citizens’ rights? – some d bag in a car gets to dictate what does and doesn’t happen because he is in a car – get a grip, and some morals while you are at it

        1. Have to agree with tiozo here. Weird how some want less government then scream more government when stuff like this happens. We’re all Americans and protest / political discourse is how this country works. It’s part of the fabric of freedom! It’s a right we all have and should defend even if it’s not what we personally believe. Plus, haven’t u seen those crazy folks ramming people? Remember, some have died like that lady in Charlottesville, Virginia. Please folks, relax and look at the protests as you would baseball or cherry pie and enjoy the freedom you’re seeing! #respectAmerica

        2. It’s not okay that someone was hit. It’s also not okay to impede life for others. When protests block streets, sidewalks, and businesses the public sees the protest as a threat and they are no longer open to hear the reasons of the protest. The people have a right to have their cause be heard and people have the right to continue their life. There needs to be changes in the process to honor both.

  2. All Mr. David William Hart has to do is prove his innocence, and he can clear his name, and it will be as if this story never existed, riiiight..

    1. This wasnt the only maga who drove into people during the march, there was also the middle aged woman in a brand new ram yelling about white lives matter, theres video of that all over town if youre thinking about trying to play dumb

    2. Your reading of the law is incorrect (as usual). Hart does not have to prove his innocence. The prosecutor must prove his guilt. Read the last paragraph.

      1. The lady who says she was hit states “”””We were on the sidewalk. So I had seen him engaging or yelling at the marchers in front of me. Everyone was doing a good job of trying to social distance.”””” EVERYONE WAS DOING A GOOD JOB OF SOCIAL DISTANCING,,,,, yet the video clearly shows they weren’t. I wonder what else she isnt telling the truth about.

        1. Your bizarre grammar makes it impossible to understand your point, not to mention measuring six feet via a tv clip is also impossible (and a fools errand)

  3. The protesters deliberately blocking the road actually constitutes an illegal stop and the driver has every right to SLOWLY proceed. If he very slowly proceeds and someone continues to stand in front of the vehicle to keep him illegally stopped, then the person standing there is doing the illegal activity. How this wasn’t mentioned in the article is beyond me.

  4. So Black Lives Matter protesters can ignore all pedestrian rules on city streets but Bend’s citizens who are using city streets (duh) to get to work, home or shopping can’t carefully navigate thru the mess?!
    Mr. Hart did what he could given the circumstances.

    1. Ever been to the Heaven can Wait gathering and Run? They always clog the streets for a period of time as does a heck of a lot of other events in Downtown Bend and drivers seem capable of navigating around the area. So now it’s ok for a driver to hit a pedestrian just because it’s something you don’t politically believe in?

  5. Might as well get used to these protests with so many people unemployed and driven by social media for those who can’t think for themselves. The liberal paradise, welcome to the suck.

  6. Clearly the Bend Police Department knew of the march; and of the route the march would take.

    Why, then, was there no traffic control provided at intersections such as this one?

    One reason might be the Department did not have enough personnel available for traffic control duties.

    Although off-duty officers and reserve officers could have been called in to assist…and perhaps they were.

    The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office offered to provide BPD assistance during the demonstrations but was told additional uniformed officers were not necessary.

    1. Also sheriff nelson is dirty and a maga and the last thing we need is him trying to act valuable at a peaceful event, who knows how that would end

      1. If he is serious about trying to help the cause, far smarter for him to finally cover the racist symbols on the dcso trucks, instead of just directing traffic in parking lots

  7. raging car boy should be kept from ever operating a motor vehicle ever again – his warped sense of entitlement and aggressively dangerous behavior make him a menace to society

    1. You lose your right to protest if it infringes upon the rights of others. A public roadway belongs to everyone. If protesters deliberately block a roadway they are infringing upon the rights of others to use it and cross the line from protest to hooliganism.

      1. he was menacing an unarmed person with a deadly weapon – no – you are completely wrong, and i think you actually know it – doesn’t doesn’t seem to stop you though – y’all want what you want and you will stop at nothing to get it – pretty twisted interpretation of “freedom” – “hooliganism” – you are such a Tucker boy parrot

        1. He wasnt menacing anyone, he was trying to get people to do the courteous thing and let him through. The left doesn’t know how to be courteous though. Also, I don’t watch Tucker so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    2. Whats crazy to me is that the parking lot in question, has numerous other exits in various directions, not to mention big flat curbs everywhere- this guy had many other options besides trying to PIT maneuver an occupied stroller

  8. I’m sure that those “protesters” were all lawfully crossing the street and being mindful of the traffic waiting patiently for them to cross. It’s not like they were purposely walking slow, yelling at the drivers who disagreed with them, wilfully blocking traffic, walking against red lights, and falsifying claims of hit and run in order justify their actions. I’m doubly sure that the couple of hundred, I mean thousand (sorry Barney) protesters were from Bend and not from Portland. Because after all, Bend is such a racist town with such a corrupt police force that it takes the force of all the California and Potland transplants to show us Central Oregonians the light.

    1. I’m sure that those “protesters” were all lawfully crossing the street and being mindful of the traffic waiting patiently for them to cross. It’s not like they were purposely walking slow, yelling at the drivers who disagreed with them, wilfully blocking traffic, walking against red lights, and falsifying claims of hit and run in order justify their actions. I’m doubly sure that the couple of hundred, I mean thousand (sorry Barney) protesters were from Bend and not from Portland. Because after all, Bend is such a racist town with such a corrupt police force that it takes the force of all the California and Portland transplants to show us Central Oregonians the light.

      1. We are such a racist town with such a corrupt police force, when they paint pro racist symbols on their patrol cars after a racist president enters office, no one even notices

        1. You’re exactly what is wrong with America! Your stance on the stupid sticker is laughable! It’s like attending a breast cancer awareness conference and standing up in the middle of the room saying “all cancer matters” well no kidding Sherlock. But guess what your at a breast cancer conference and this Isolated cancer is what matters for connection in the room for the moment. If you don’t relate to the group move on. Black lives do it, the me too movement does it and guess what cops can do it too. Get over it and stop stretching for something that is not there. Also do yourself a favor and learn what racism really is before you start screaming help.

  9. Over dramatization… fake news.. fake story.. not true.. Driver waited for many minutes to proceed..Then he pulled out slowly to proceed. Grandma with stroller knew exactly what she was doing.. painted herself as a victim and then wants money for BLM.. So folks this story smells like BS to me and any logical thinker. If the Jeep driver wanted to harm anyone he would have. These dipwads want to defund the Police.. but who do they call when there is a problem??? THE POLICE. Our DA wants to get re-elected BY THESE LEFTIST WACK JOBS WHO HAVE INVADED BEND…. so he is going to prosecute. Total BS.

    1. Yes the original bendites were in the kkk, burning crosses with county commission and the sheriff on pilot butte, before you whine at me read the bulletin archives comrade

      1. Oh yes because the ascendants of those people from generations ago must have those same values as their descendants. Please. Come up with a valid argument sometime.

        1. If you want to whine about bends good ole days, you have to look at the facts comrade, a kkk led .government and mass murder on the cascade lakes, sorry if the truth hurts

    2. family came her in 1862, occupied stolen land, and hasn’t done anything of substance ever since – can’t wait for the good old days of 1862 – so much high moral human behavior back then – whoops, forgot to type in all caps, ‘cus that shows that i’m right….

    3. If you look up the victim involved, you will see she is a writer who’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NPR, OPB and Newsweek. So I’m not surprised this incident has been blown way out of proportion. I suppose it may help her book sales, since she’s made sure to mention it online on her book selling website/blog. I understand the driver’s frustration with having our roads blocked and having to wait for hundreds of people to cross the road. Why can’t the “protesters” share the road so traffic can run smoothly as well? Downtown businesses have suffered near closure during the pandemic, and they desperately need customers to return to keep their business alive. Protesters should understand that their presence is making people avoid driving downtown. I just think there should be a way to support the protests without hurting local businesses.

  10. The definition of obstructing “vehicular traffic”: Obstructing vehicular traffic means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by a driver of a vehicle, or to cause a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Obstructing traffic is a violation.

      1. The law applies to public and private parking lots just like it applies to public and private roadways/driveways. If it did not, then you could be blocked from exiting a private road by somebody in the public-right-of-way where a private road intersects a public road.

        1. Bob, would you provide a citation for that law? If it’s in fact and Oregon (or Bend) law, it would be interesting to see how the “walk” element reconciles with the clear right of way extended to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk and not facing a traffic-control device.

    1. menacing another human with a deadly weapon “is a violation”, but you knew that – your intellectually lazy, selective rendering of the situation is shameful, and your motives are transparent – all y’all won’t be satisfied until you can run over anyone who disagrees with you

      1. I guess everyone that attends the Deschutes Country Fair is menacing other human’s with a deadly weapon as they idle through the grounds while waiting through lines of traffic that are all trying to exit while other people mingle amoungst the traffic as they walk to their vehicles. Oh, I almost forgot; it’s legal to do that. What isnt legal is for protesters to impede traffic while protesting in the street. Seems to me the driver did his best to slowly inch forward amoungst the crowds of people. He was obeying the law. The protester, not so much.

      2. My rendering of the situation is one of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system – that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

        My motive should be obvious to a reasonable person – it indicates I believe everybody is entitled to a defense and equal treatment under the law.

        Your rendering of the situation appears to be guilty until proven innocent.

        At this point, it has not been proven that the driver deliberately struck the woman and baby stroller (if the driver did then that is a crime) and there are no charges for menacing another human with a deadly weapon. According to the article, there is an accusation that resulted in charges of four counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of fourth-degree assault, and the police are/were seeking witnesses to the reported collision.

        1. Your points seem quite well reasoned to me. If posts with name calling, ad hominem attacks and unsupported positions were removed, yours would be the only one left.

  11. Does anyone remember when brown-nose Hummel was threatening not to prosecute low level crimes unless he got more money? He didn’t get what he wanted. Now, this.

  12. If I was this drivers lawyer I would argue that the protest was an illegal protest. According to the Deschutes county website in order to have a mass gathering outside you must obtain the permits to do so when on public property or public right of way.. to include areas that cause traffic safety issues or causes serious inconvenience to the public Yes this does include your black lives matter protests. Seems like whoever organized this should be fined for violations and also be responsible for putting the driver in a unpredictable high stress situation that could have resulted in a tragic outcome with irresponsible grandmother.

    I would also argue that according to kate browns own executive order, even in phase 2, the protest was illegal on a state level too And can/ should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Just ask some of business owners that got fined for trying to operate and make a living.

    Don’t forget yes you have a right to protest but if your a legal entity organizing these events you have the legal obligation and legal due diligence to insure the safety of your invitees to your events. And if these events are going to be authorized by Deschutes county without enforcing their own codes to obtain a permit (because according to the BLM- silence is consent) then Deschutes county should be held accountable.

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