RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Police confirm that there has been a hit-and-run accident outside the Mission Inn’s annual Festival of Lights in Riverside.
KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin reported live from the scene on KCAL9’s News at 10 p.m. Saturday.
Witnesses told her 3-4 people were hit but none seriously. No one was taken to a hospital, she reported.
Witnesses said the people who were struck were taking part in a protest against police brutality.
Social media exploded with reports from the scene mentioning “chaos.”
Jose Negrete tweeted, “Just saw some protesters get run over in Mission Inn avenue Downtown Riverside is crazy right now.”
Some of the Festival goers told Nochlin they were frustrated by protesters who seemed like they were trying to take the event over.
Protesters, in turn, told her they were doing nothing but being peaceful when the car came rushing through.
“We were just protesting and chanting,” said Mariah McCoy. “And then the car started honking at us. Then it started going slow and then it sped up. It was getting close to all of us. Then he was going slow and … then he sped up and ran us over, basically.”
“My knee went on top of the roof,” said Nikohl Vandell, “I guess his rear view window hit me somewhere in my shoulder. It was fast.”
“There was a whole crowd blocking Mission Avenue,” said Jennifer Croteau, “chanting and screaming and yelling. I saw cars trying to get through. They wouldn’t let any of the cars get through. It was just really kind of scary.”
Police told Nochlin they have a good description of the suspect vehicle.
The Festival of Lights is in its 22nd year.