Woman accused of hitting protesters in Elizabeth City appears in court Thursday

North Carolina

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — The woman accused of hitting two protesters with her car in Elizabeth City appeared in court on Thursday morning.

Lisa O’Quinn was appointed a public defender, but didn’t have anything to say to reporters. She will next appear in court July 12 for a probable cause hearing.

Police arrested 41-year-old O’Quinn earlier this week. In a press release, police said she “struck two pedestrians who were peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights.”

The incident happened at the intersection of Ehringhaus and Griffin Street around 6:45 p.m. Monday night and the women are expected to be OK.

Cell phone video from the incident quickly was shared on social media. One video shows O’Quinn striking the first woman, and another shows her hitting someone on a bike.

“I was actually screaming saying ‘she is going to hit them,’” said Cheryl Morrison. “Then she hit them.”

The two women were part of peaceful protests that have continued since the death of Andrew Brown Jr. On April 21, Brown was killed by Pasquotank deputies while they were serving an arrest warrant. 

Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble said the shooting was “justified” because Brown was in his car trying to get away, and deputies feared for their life.

As for Monday’s incident, protesters say they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. “There is no excuse for taking a vehicle with peaceful protestors and driving that vehicle through to maliciously and intentionally hurt someone,” said Keith Rivers, President of the Pasquotank County NAACP.

The police department is also investigating to see if this is a hate crime.

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