Driver in Mercedes Mows Down Occupy Oakland Protesters


That's the sort of confusion and panic that led Occupy Seattle volunteers to try keeping marchers from crossing against the light while Goldy harangued them for their cowardice - drivers don't always quickly realize they're being surrounded by "friendly" people, and sometimes it turns out badly.…
Do you honestly think the driver should have waited for the pedestrian to get bored hitting the hood of his car and move on? Both sides are at fault here, but the pedestrian could have let the car drive through, but didnt and choose to attack the car, causing the driver to panic.

This rings a familure tone, in that Critical Mass will be involved with incidents just like this, except its 5-8 people that surround the car, causing the driver to not just panic, but freak the f**k out.
That driver belongs in jail, and the protester absolutely did not deserve to be run over.

But... nonviolence mean nonviolence. Even if he hadn't chosen some psycho, banging on someone's hood isn't nonviolence.
@ 3, "Do you honestly think the driver should have waited for the pedestrian to get bored hitting the hood of his car and move on?"

Um, yes, I do think he should have waited for just that. Because the only alternative, once the guy banged his hood, is what happened.

Jesus, you are a dumb person.
Hitting someone's hood for almost hitting you is not violent. Violence is what they should've done: slashed all the drivers tires and smashed all their windows.
@3...familure? o_0

Also, I do honestly believe the car should have waited. It's possible to move someone with your vehicle without running them down. Cars can move slowly, too.
I think that the car drove off WAY too fast, but honestly, if I were behind the wheel, that would be kind of terrifying. Clearly these people were already pissed at the driver. There is a nonzero chance that things could escalate the longer that car stayed. I'd be afraid of them smashing my windows, potentially hurting me. I would also be trying to drive away. Though again, prob slow enough to minimize injuries/give them a chance to scamper out of the way. And this is coming from someone who is in full support of the occupy movement.
The driver didn't have to keep driving while protesters were crossing the street (watch the first few frames in the vid), especially not within inches of the guy who banged the car. He was being an asshole to start with, and he ended up being a violent criminal. That said, banging the car was dumb.
@5: Still, the driver had cause to believe his life and property were under assault. Who are we to say that anyone us would have acted differently? The cops were right in letting him go.
Umm, it was a MERCEDES. I'm sure he's a person for whom running down people in his car is permitted.
I would have done the same thing - just a lot more slowly. Bunch of people start banging on my car I'm not going to sit there and just hope that they don't escalate. Also, from the video it looks like a larger crowd was moving towards the car from the driver's left. He probably wanted to get the f out of there before more people were around his car.

But the driver should have done it more slowly.

Kudos to the driver for knowing what to do when fucktards like these Oakland thugs surround and bang on your car. I always wondered why people surrounded in their cars during the LA riots didn't simply step on the gas and run those animals over.
Their fault for not fucking moving.
here come the psychopaths.
@9 - so a huge mob of protesters is about to surround your car. You either hope they remain peaceful (even though Oakland OWS has a clear history of violence by some people) or you try to get out of their way. Driver chose the latter option and I would have too. How does he know that these protesters aren't the ones who are perfectly willing to start smashing up his car? His only mistake was that he just didn't need to accelerate nearly as fast as he did after the banging started.
and the trolls...
Execute all Mercedes drivers.
@ 10, I don't see that in the video. No one jumped on the hood. No one started trying to open the doors or rock the car till it flipped. But the car WAS inching forward in a menacing way prior to the pedestrian confronting it.

@ 14, so we should run people over when they're dicks? Especially when we provoke that dickish action in the first place? I thought you were better than that, JF.
Notice the truck that was right next to the Mercedes at the beginning of the video, the truck that *didn't* try to enter the intersection while people were still in it, the truck that *didn't* subsequently get surrounded by a mob of people, is also the truck that didn't freak out and run people down.

The protestards were jaywalking (crossing against the light). The Mercedes slowly made its way through the intersection, stopping before hitting the idiot pedestrians. The idiot pedestrians decided to strike the car, in which case the Mercedes driver was now legally allowed to run them over (yes, legally -- he was not arrested). The only thing I would've done differently is not stop after running them over. I would've kept on going for several blocks, long enough to ditch the angry mob that started chasing the car, and then called the cops and informed them of what happened ("Going through intersection X, stopped to avoid some jaywalkers, they assaulted my car and in fear for my life and safety I drove through. Send an ambulance, and I'll head over to the nearest police station for de-brief.").

And then I would call my body shop, because the protestards most likely damaged the bumper and probably portions of the undercarriage. At the very least, the car needs to be washed to get the hippy stink off it.
@22: God, if it weren't for the internet, how would we ever know what a brave tough man you are? HOW?!
@9 what I see is a driver moving at the same pace as other cars in the road (slowly), and STOPPING to let the people pass. One guy stops crossing, puts his hands on the car and engages the driver in (presumably) an argument. He then starts pounding on the car.

The driver is a dick for slamming on the gas and I think he should be arrested, but this video shows that the protester deliberately escalated this scenario.

I support the Occupy movement and think what happened in Oakland yesterday was amazing - but there are definitely people in the movement who either get caught up in the moment and let their adrenaline take over their common sense, or are just plain looking for an outlet to pick fights (such as yesterday's orange vest guy in the Broadway Chase event videos).
Hmm, let's see...fists on a hood of a car vs. assault (that could've easily resulted in death) with a multi-ton vehicle. Nope, not an equivalent response. Seriously? "OMG the driver was scared so of course he can run people over". What in the fuck is wrong with you people? Some of you (Kinison, Phoebe) are either idiots or sociopaths, possibly both.
What the fuck do you all not get about proportionate response. A dude was banging on a guy's car, and the driver proceeds to mow him down. That's like a guy calling you a jerk, and you proceed to stab him.
thank you ToddO
@21 - good point - that ended up being the better move. But it's really hard to think clearly in a situation like that. I have no clue what the Mercedes driver was thinking but I also may well have done what he did which was try to get out of there before the main mass of the mob arrived. Clearly the sudden acceleration at the end was bad judgement. But it's really easy to second-guess the situation from the comfort of our computers when we're not on the street at night surrounded by protesters who are part of an overall OWS movement that has been particularly violent (I mean the Oakland OWS).
@10- This is the kind of rhetoric I hear often from the weird survivalist types. The inflated sense of danger. It what way was his life in danger? or his 'property under assault' (property cannot be assaulted, it can only be damaged, his car is not a person). It is as if my grandmother, with her constant worrying about someone choking or losing an eye through an unlikely series of events, has taken over.

Banging on someones' car hood is rude, and could potentially cause slight damage to the finish or bodywork. It was dumb thing to do. And the driver would have been totally within the bounds of conceptual self-preservation if the car were surrounded and someone had either tried to pull him out or break out any windows. That is the situation in which it is reasonable to move forward and potentially harm other people.
Watch and learn, people:…

@19 "Execute all Mercedes drivers."

Wow, welcome to being part of the problem and not the solution. No need to compromise, just do whatever your inner rage tells you to do.
Should have set the car on fire.
@31 - you're just feeding the trolls. :)
@28 -- Meh. People think clearly in that situation every day, especially at rush hour when dozens of folks jaywalk their way around downtown, just as dozens of folks make illegal turns or blow red lights.

It takes a special form of asshattery to see a steady stream of people crossing the street illegally and think, "I'm going to drive up on these people because they're pissing me off / making me late / my take-out is getting cold." The driver in the truck, case in point, saw the people and thought "Well hell, I'm stuck here for a while." There's no acceptable reason the Mercedes driver shouldn't have had the same reaction.

If the Mercedes driver was particularly miffed, he could have called the police and said, "There are hundreds of protesters blocking the street at X and Y, and none of us in cars can get through."

Instead he chose to try and kill people.

Idiocy all around. Including half the comments here. You think you know which half you're in? Nope. The other side.
@10 etc. etc.

He should have a chance to argue self-defense at his assault trial. Would a reasonable person in his position believe his life was in imminent danger? There is no doubt that running someone over at that speed has a high likelihood of killing them. Seems like a pretty cut and dry assault charge with a standard defense. For the jury to decide, not the police. If the driver was an OWS member the prosecutor would probably make it assault with intent to kill, but I don't really understand how this shouldn't result in a felony vehicular assault charge. Sheesh.

On the other hand, arresting the guy on the spot and leaving the car there while trying to get a tow truck in before the car is totally trashed must have seemed like a lot more work than having a prosecutor issue a warrant and summons of a known person.
@36 it is always illegal to leave the scene of a hit and run when you drive a motor vehicle.

There are no exceptions, other than when you're in a rural area far from any medical services.
Did you people watch the video? The protesters didn't 'surround the car' and that guy didn't bang on the hood until the car was already running into him.

The driver tried to drive through a crowd of people, when some of them stood their ground, the car was used as a physical threat. The protester reacted poorly, yes, and shouldn't have hit the car. The driver, however, was hostile from the beginning and is guilty of attempted murder.
The difference here being of course that the Mercedes driver seems to have felt completely entitled to run over a bunch of pedestrians, while the truck driver did not.
Whenever you get up into someone's grill (literally or figuratively), you stand a good chance of getting hit.
@ 41, you sure? Internet justice has been wrong before. Remember the case of Victoria Liss.
@25: You're talking theory; I'm talking about emotions. The attack provoked the driver into fear and rage. And yes, the driver would be scared. What, you don't recall the Reginald Denny incident?
Hernandez, dear sir, please note that I have the courtesy and decorum not to call you names.
Awesome! At least somebody learned the lesson of Reginald Denny!
@43, watch the video. What attack?
@45 - there was not really an attack but there was clearly a threat. This driver did had a legitimate reason to fear for his safety. I think he would have been completely justified to just continue inching forward to get out of there. But he definitely over-reacted by accelerating so much. The question for law enforcement and possibly a jury is whether his over-reaction was criminal or not.
@43 That's some lack of perspective, right there. If you've already made up your mind that this incident is equivalent to that, then there's no arguing with you. The points regarding the driver's role and whether or not the police should have let him go have already been made (@36 is a good place to start), and I won't rehash them.
Well..then don't stand in front of a car and beat on its hood. They are more solid than you.
@37 - what if stopping would put you in imminent danger of death or injury? (Not saying that is the case - just saying, I doubt that there are "no exceptions" other than the one you cite).
I would have hit him too (or really REALLY wanted to). This driver was just doing what you kind of have to do to get through a never-ending crowd, you inch forward as much as you can until you're through, anyone who has ever lived in a highly pedestrian area knows this, and normally the pedestrians ignore it.
The driver didn't "Almost hit him" in the beginning, he was just trying to inch his way forward, and the pedestrian got pissed. I think that pedestrian got what he deserved, pounding on someone's car like a 5 year old is not only immature but really stupid considering he's standing in front of a vehicle that could crush him.
I can't help but think that if he was driving a prius or a civic he wouldn't be getting as much hate.
@47, if I punched a guy under the same circumstances, I would be arrested. How can there be any doubt in your mind whether what he did is criminal?
If I had a vehicle and knew that there was going to be a protest demonstration in town that day, I would take side roads to avoid the confusion. I'm sorry the idiot with the mercedes lacks foresight and is completely unable to weigh the consequences of his actions.
@25: It did result in a death and two other hospitalizations. That mercedes driver murdered someone so that they could get home ten minutes sooner.
@51: Thanks for an evenhanded response. He was inching forward, barely moving, when the protester started pounding on his car. At that point he had done nothing wrong, and the protester was being an asshole.

Then the driver accelerated and turned the whole situation around. He became the bigger asshole.

The fact the cops let him leave is no big deal. There's no point in taking him off to jail. They know where to find him if they want to file charges.
douche got what he deserved! don't beat on my Mercedes - eva!!!

According to the article the rumors of the death are highly exagerated.

And my 11 and 13 year old kids know better than to walk in front of a moving car. Now I suppose these idiots do as well.
#6: Even that is definitely NOT violence. It is vandalism. If no one feels it, and no one is hurt, than where is the violence?
The point wasn't that that was violence, but that it wasn't nonviolence. Nonviolence is also the absence of confrontation, other than passive resistence.
@37 My understanding is that the cops got his identifying information and then let him be on his way. I didn't get the sense he had tried to flee from the cops.

One of the things that bothers people about this is that he (intentionally!!) ran somebody down with his car but wasn't taken into custody on the scene for such a serious crime. I was speculating as to why the police might not have wanted to burden themselves with his arrest. Might have wanted to do a DUI roadside test too....

Did I misunderstand the story?
@55, I think you've got it about right. No one here covered themselves in glory, but deliberately accelerating hard into people like that wins the Jerk of the Night Prize.
It's shocking how the right wing condones deadly violence against protesters. I wish I could say that I am surprised but sadly no, as it is nothing new and their thuggery is evident in most everything they do (continual appeals to emotions through lies, hatred and fear-mongering).
Let's all stop and ponder for a second whether 1) this would have even happened, and 2) if the Stranger would have reported it if, rather than a Mercedes, it had been a Kia.
Deadly? No-one died. The police and your fellow citizens have been remarkably, even heroically, calm and tolerant of your ongoing childish temper tantrums. We're waiting for you to grow up, but aren't holding our breaths on that one.

Thuggery? Like illegally blocking legitimate access to streets and businesses for other citizens to prove some incoherent point you can't even explain? Like swarming banks (in which the folks at whom your tantrums are directed never set foot) to obstruct others from conducting their business or getting the money they need to buy groceries or pay rent?

And this is my favorite for the unintended irony-
"is evident in most everything they do (continual appeals to emotions through lies, hatred and fear-mongering). " Seriously, you shouldn't spring that kind of joke on a guy without warning. I nearly choked on my coffee.


Nah. A headline like "Hotel dishwasher driving 1990 Honda runs into hoodlum beating on his car like a 4 year old' doesn't incite class warfare like 'Mercedes driving plutocrat tries to kill thousands of innocent peaceful protestors!!!' does.
@ 64, this is another instance where your religion is against your actual, professed beliefs.
I agree and was just about to leave that exact comment...If this had been a Kia it wouldn't have even been reported. Unfortunately it will be situations just like this that lead to OWS failing to get the complete support of the public and political leaders that it needs to survive. I do support the general idea of the movement, to reduce corporate control of congress, but can't support the sense of entitlement that many of these protesters seem to have or the wide range of ridiculous demands (Pay off my school loan? WTF) I also can't support the reckless and wanton destruction of private and public property, the blocking of people (99%'s) going to work to feed their families, blocking streets and public access to parks and the excessive waste of public services. Does OWS understand that police/fire presence costs tons of money that city governments can't afford? Do those in the video understand that jaywalking is also a violation of city laws or is it that they are entitled to follow only whatever laws they want. Is is acceptable to damage and destroy another's personal property? If so they are no better than they bankers and wall street shmucks they so feverishly despise. This is the exact behavior that will cause OWS to implode.
In what world is the use of a vehicle to run into people not considered use of deadly force to harm someone? In Seattleblues' bizarro world of course. As to the rest of your posturing nonsense, your actively defending that criminal is the proof in the pudding of your thuggery.