MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The tanker truck driver who rolled into the middle of a George Floyd protest on the Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis on May 31 is now facing a felony charge in the incident.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko of Otsego faces a felony charge of threats of violence and a gross misdemeanor charge of criminal vehicular operation.

The complaint says Vechirko’s line of sight would have given him sufficient time to stop his truck after viewing the crowd. Vechirko also allegedly admitted that he was “kind of in a hurry” and hoped the crowd would let him pass if he went slow.

“The thorough investigation showed that the defendant wanted to scare the crowd out of his path,” the complaint said.

Additionally, the complaint says investigators obtained the semi truck, tested it in the same conditions and determined there was time to stop.

In the hours following the incident, DPS Commissioner John Harrington said that an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people were on the bridge at the time the truck sped through. There were no serious injuries. Harrington says the truck was already on the interstate before the incident, even though it had closed about 40 minutes earlier at 5 p.m. and barriers were in place specifically for the marchers.

If convicted, Vechirko faces up to five years in prison on the felony charge and up to one year in prison on the gross misdemeanor charge. He is not currently in custody.

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