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A Tennessee teenager was arrested Saturday after allegedly driving into a crowd of protesters and dragging a woman hanging from his car for 20 feet, police say.
Anthony Marcuzzo, 18, was caught on surveillance footage slowly steering his Chevy Tahoe into a crowd of people demonstrating against racial injustice and police brutality in Memphis Friday night, according to an affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Four protesters attempted to block the car, but Marcuzzo allegedly kept driving – ultimately dragging Erin Dempsey, a young woman gripping his sideview mirror, for 20 feet, witnesses told police.
Dempsey was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for minor bruising on her arm and leg, according to the affidavit.
Marcuzzo originally received a traffic citation for driving without a license and improper passing, local station Fox 13 reported.
Police did not say whether they believe Marcuzzo meant to hit the protesters with his car. However, in a Facebook livestream immediately after the incident, protestor Twen Peeks alleged that he did.
“He just tried to flat-out, straight-up run me over,” Peeks said.
Following outcry from activists and a review of surveillance footage, police arrested Marcuzzo on Saturday, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, a local newspaper.
He was originally booked on felony charges, local news station WREG-TV reports. However, those were later reduced to misdemeanors: four counts of reckless endangerment and one count of reckless driving, according to online records. Marcuzzo was released from jail on his own recognizance on Sunday, the day after his arrest.
He wasn’t the only Memphis resident to allegedly drive into a crowd of protesters that night.
About an hour after the incident, 26-year-old Beau Albauer also allegedly steered into a protest, local station WMC-5 reported. Like Marcuzzo, he received a traffic citation – his for running a red light.
He posted on Facebook after the incident defending his actions. He has since deleted the post, but Memphis County Commissioner Tami Sawyer tweeted a screenshot of it.
“Yo to all you f---ing weak as protestors. Y’all put me in a corner,” Albauer wrote. “What do you expect I’m going to protect me and mine. I was going home and y’all damage my car. Bro your lucky you didn’t end up as a good (sic) Ornament.”
Albauer was arrested Tuesday, according to online records. He has been charged with a felony for reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor for reckless driving.
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