VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – 10 On Your Side is gathering more public reaction to an incident Sunday night at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront involving a red pickup truck that was driven into the middle of a group of protesters.
Video captured live by Chopper 10 Sunday night showed a red pickup truck flying American flags and driving down Atlantic Avenue, narrowly missing protesters, some of whom could be seen hitting the truck with objects, kicking the truck and pulling on the flags.
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Protest organizers tell 10 On Your Side that the driver of that truck was aggressive before the incident. 10 On Your Side has also been sent videos from social media showing the driver yelling at the crowd while outside his truck and later revving his truck’s engine before driving near the protesters. Other videos sent to 10 On Your Side show the truck driving near the protesters from other vantage points.
During a press briefing Monday afternoon, Virginia Beach Interim Police Chief Tony Zucaro told the media his department was trying to find the driver the red truck captured on video.
Zucaro said: “Right now, we are still looking for that vehicle. If anyone in the community is aware of who the operator or the occupants of that vehicle are, I would encourage them to call our detective bureau.”
The driver, who only would only use his first name, “Manny”, reached out Monday morning to 10 On Your Side to give his side of the story. Manny admitted he was not there to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but claimed he was there to shout praise for the police.
10 On Your Side spoke with protest organizers Aubrey Japharii Jones and Jackie Horton who were at the Oceanfront Sunday night.
“We were [not] attacking them. This individual revved his engine far from us, and we alerted everybody about the loud engine in order to clear everyone out,” Jones said.
“If you’re running down the street, and yelling racial slurs to people, and you can see there’s a protest then obviously you want trouble. Of course people are going to get upset. This is a protest. It is very clear what we are doing. You (Manny) shouldn’t even been on the street, which you were,” Horton said.
Manny told 10 On Your Side he had every right to be there, and admits he was argumentative with the protesters.
Jones says Manny crossed the line and created a hostile environment.
“He goes back and revs his engine, and gases it towards us, not only once, but multiple times,” Horton said. “He did a full circle, and came back. It was intentional.”
Manny maintains that he never meant to hurt anyone. 10 On Your Side called Manny to get comment on the protest organizers’ account of events and the videos showing what happened before the incident, but we have not heard back.
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