A 40-year-old Long Beach woman is being held on charges that include attempted murder after allegedly driving her car into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters and counter demonstrators in Yorba Linda.
The BLM protest against police violence and systemic racism began at 2 p.m. Saturday on Imperial Highway and was interrupted by a much larger group of President Donald Trump supporters, who waved American flags and held pro-Trump signs.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly at 2:40 p.m. and ordered everyone to leave the area, Sgt. Dennis Breckner said.
Tatiana Turner, a protester believed to be associated with the “Caravan of Justice” — a car-based protest in solidarity with BLM — was exiting the Yorba Linda Public Library parking lot when she allegedly drove her compact car through an intersection and struck a man and woman, according to OCSD PIO Carrie Braun.
“The man suffered two broken legs and the woman had major injuries,” Breckner said. “Both were transported to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.”
Breckner initially identified the male victim as a BLM demonstrator, but Braun said the department is no longer sure if that was the case, saying he might have been a counter-protester.
Turner was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Braun said.
She was being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, according to Orange County jail records.
Jason Mancuso, 46, of Anaheim, was arrested and jailed for refusing to leave after the unlawful assembly was declared, Braun said. He has a scheduled court date on Oct. 26, according to jail records.
A total of 250 protesters converged at the scene, Breckner estimated, adding that everyone eventually left and roads were reopened.
A 47-year-old Yorba Linda man at the protest, who would only give his name as Mike because he feared Antifa-leaning elements might seek to harm him, told City News Service that he’s been getting together with a group of several dozen other locals every other week for patriotic rallies.
He claimed he personally saw three Trump supporters injured by the car that was hemmed in and trying to drive away. But he also said the “Make America Great Again” demonstrators had been harassing the woman, causing the panicked look on her face.
“They started to pound on her car,” he said, while clutching a carefully rolled up American flag. “It took damage.”
Mike told CNS he witnessed one female counter-protester get swept under the vehicle, as well as a male counter-protester who suffered an ankle injury. He said another male counter-protester suffered minor abrasions. The crowd included hundreds of pro-Trump supporters and about 100 to 150 Black Lives Matter demonstrators.