Trucker Who Unintentionally Drove Into Protest Released Without Charges, Wife Asks For Help
Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota trucker who drove into a protest along Interstate 35 in Minneapolis last weekend has been released from jail without any charges being filed.
According to a statement from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko of Otsego, was released on Tuesday pending further investigation.
“Investigators are in the process of gathering additional information and answers to aid in the charging decision,” Freeman said.
The release comes one day after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington answered questions about Sunday’s incident.
According to both men, Vechirko was not targeting protesters, as many in national and local media insinuated, following the release of the dramatic video captured by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) cameras.
Watch it HERE.
While Harrington said it is likely Vechirko was speeding and “panicked” upon approaching the more than 5,000 estimated protesters, he did his best to avoid harming anyone on the bridge.
Harrington also explained how it was that Vechirko ended up on the bridge at that time though the interstate had been closed.
Read more about how Vechirko ended up on the bridge HERE.
Vechirko’s release also comes one day after his wife, Liudmila, issued a plea for financial help.
Liudmila, who is 8 months pregnant, according to reports, appears in a video on YouTube.
“Due to multiple requests, I am recording this video for those who care and want to help our family,” she says.
Liudmila indicated that the couple’s credit cards are frozen since “they stole his wallet, phone, and all the belongings from the truck’s cabin.”
A PayPal account @freebogdan has been set up for those who wish to help the couple as a result of their “misfortune,” Luidmila says.
WATCH the video below.
What About Those Who Assaulted Vechirko?
Videos from the scene reveal that after Vechirko successfully gets the empty semi-tanker to a stop without striking anyone, multiple protesters then descend on his truck bashing in the windshield and eventually pulling him from the vehicle.
Vechirko was physically assaulted by a group of people while some protesters urged the group not to harm him and attempted to shield him from the violence.
Fortunately, police arrived within minutes and deployed a chemical agent to disperse the crowd fearing for everyone’s safety due to a possible leak from the tanker.
Vechirko, whose red shirt had been ripped off during the assaults, was also bleeding from wounds to his face and chest when police were seen quickly placing him in the back of a cruiser before transporting him to a nearby hospital.
So far, authorities have not indicated if anyone involved in beating Vechirko will face any charges.
Investigators certainly have plenty of video evidence to review should they wish to pursue the matter further.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow new developments.