Man Rams Car into Crowd Protesting Coronavirus Vaccine Mandates

A female police officer uses police tape to cordon off an area outside a Jack in the Box r
File/ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty

A man is in custody after he drove his car into a group of people protesting coronavirus vaccine mandates in Southern California. William Aslaksen, 64, argued with protesters at the rally on Sunday before getting into his vehicle, according to witnesses.

“A witness stated a man disagreed with the protest, entered his vehicle and intentionally drove toward the protesters,” Deputy Trina Schrader said in a statement. “The suspect then drove away westbound and out of view.”

The Los Angeles Times reported: 

William Aslaksen was arrested about 90 minutes after the incident, which occurred about 3:25 p.m. at the intersection of 10th Street West and Rancho Vista Boulevard, officials said.

He was booked into the Sheriff’s Department’s Palmdale station on suspicion of felony assault and was being held there Sunday in lieu of $50,000 bail, inmate records show. He is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Antelope Valley Municipal Court in Lancaster.

The injured woman, who is in her 40s, was taken to a hospital because of injuries that were not life-threatening, Schrader said. Her name was not released.

The Legal Advocate reported that the case is likely to be seen as road rage:

The reckless actions of Mr. Aslaken, which resulted in the victim’s injuries, can be described as road rage, which is a form of reckless driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage occurs when a driver commits a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property. Road rage is a factor in more than 50 percent of all car crashes that end in fatality, according to the AAA. Road rage episodes result in about 30 deaths and 1,800 injuries per year.

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