FARGO — A driver faces two felonies after police say he intentionally struck a protester who ended up on the hood of his car and hung on for three blocks before falling off.
The incident happened during the march through Fargo and West Fargo on Saturday, May 30, in support of Black Lives Matter and George Floyd, a man who died in Minneapolis police custody.
The driver, Michael Charles Griffin, 47, was charged Monday, June 1, in Cass County District Court with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, both felonies.
At 3:46 p.m. Saturday, West Fargo police officers saw Griffin's vehicle strike a pedestrian on Main Avenue in West Fargo, according to court records. Main Avenue was blocked off to traffic to allow the marchers, who occupied all traffic lanes, to pass through.
Griffin stopped momentarily at the roadblock and was confronted by Francisco Lopez, who stood in front of Griffin's vehicle, trying to get it to stop, according to court documents. Griffin then tried to drive around Lopez, who again stood in front of Griffin's car.
Griffin then paused for a few seconds, then accelerated quickly, striking Lopez, who flew up onto the hood and held onto the windshield. Griffin continued driving at about 40 mph for three blocks when Lopez lost his grip and fell, according to court records.
Officers saw the vehicle drive past a roadblock that was in place to protect protesters and radioed to fellow officers, who set up a roadblock and stopped Griffin, who was arrested at the scene. Lopez was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was treated.
Lopez's injuries were not life-threatening, according to police.
Cass County District Judge Tom Olson set Griffin's bond at $10,000 and ordered him to avoid contact with Lopez. Griffin is scheduled for a court appearance on July 7.
Attempts Monday to reach Griffin were unsuccessful. Griffin's lawyer was not listed in court records.