Protesters Scramble to Avoid a Mini Cooper in Newport Beach

No injuries were reported as people shielded children from the hatchback on Balboa Boulevard.

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Protesters scattered on a street to avoid a driver in a Mini Cooper Wednesday in a frightening scene in Newport Beach. 

No injuries were reported when the driver, who was arrested, plowed the hatchback into the crowd that gathered on Balboa Boulevard in a protest over the death of George Floyd.

“It was horrifying,” said witness Brandon Yamawaki. “It was absolutely disgusting.”

Video showed people scrambling to both sides of the street. Witnesses said there were at least three children in the crowd. 

“One was a toddler,” Yamawaki said. “He couldn’t have been more than 15 months old, and that child — he wasn’t crying, but he had no idea what was happening.”

Details about the driver’s identity were not immediately available. 

About 500 protesters were drawn to a rally in Newport Beach, city spokesman John Pope said. Another protest at Newport Pier drew 300 to 400 people and was peaceful, said Heather Rangel, a spokeswoman for the police department.

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