A 40-year-old Long Beach woman is being held Sunday on charges that include attempted murder after driving her car into a group of demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter protesters and counter demonstrators in Yorba Linda.
The BLM protest against police violence and systemic racism began at 2 p.m. Saturday on Imperial Highway and was interrupted by a much larger group of President Donald Trump supporters, who waved American flags and held pro-Trump signs.
The sheriff’s department declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly at 2:40 p.m. and ordered everyone to leave the area, Breckner said.
Tatiana Turner, a protester believed to be associated with the so-called “Caravan of Justice,” was exiting the Yorba Linda Public Library parking lot when she allegedly drove her compact car through an intersection and struck a man and woman, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department PIO Carrie Braun.
“The man suffered two broken legs and the woman had major injuries,” sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Breckner said. “Both were transported to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.”
“Caravan for Justice” is described on social media as a car-based protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
Breckner initially identified the man who as a Black Lives Matter demonstrator, but Braun said the department is no longer sure if that was the case, saying he might have been a counter-protester.
Turner was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Braun said.
She was being held on $1 million bail and scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 29, according to Orange County jail records.
Jason Mancuso, 46, of Anaheim, was arrested and jailed for refusing to leave after the unlawful assembly was declared, Braun said.
He has a scheduled court date on Oct. 26, according to jail records.
A total of 250 total protesters converged at the scene, Breckner estimated, adding everyone eventually left and roads were reopened.
A 47-year-old Yorba Linda man at the protest, who would only give his name as Mike because he feared Antifa-leaning elements might seek to harm him, explained he’s been getting together with a group of several dozen other locals every other week for patriotic rallies.
He claimed he personally saw three Trump supporters injured by the car that was hemmed in and trying to drive away. But he also said it was the “Make America Great Again” protesters had been harassing the woman, causing the panicked look on her face.
“They started to pound on her car,” he said, while clutching a carefully rolled up American flag. “It took damage.”
Mike said he witnessed one female counter-protester get swept under the vehicle, as well as a male counter-protester who suffered an ankle injury. He said another male counter-protester suffered minor abrasions.
Video posted on social media shows a read-headed woman flying forward as the car tries to leave. She attempts to brace herself against a man in dark pants and a yellow shirt, but ends up on the ground as the white car accelerates.
Mike estimated the crowd included 1,000 pro-Trump supporters and 100-150 Black Lives Matter demonstrators.