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Woman accused of driving into Bloomington protesters arrested by police

Car into protesters.jpg
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 20:40:41-04

BLOOMINGTON — A 66-year-old woman was arrested and preliminarily charged Wednesday with driving into protesters in downtown Bloomington.

Hundreds of people were rallying and protesting through Bloomington Monday, following an alleged racist attack at Lake Monroe where several men attacked and apparently attempted to lynch Vauhxx Booker, a Monroe County Human Rights commissioner. There have been no arrests in the case, however, both the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the FBI Indianapolis are investigating the incident.

Police say an electric scooter had been left in the roadway and a red Toyota passenger car drove up to it. A male passenger then got out and threw the scooter out of the lane of travel. That's when police say a woman approached the vehicle and stood in front of it with her hands on the hood.

The vehicle then began to accelerate, according to police, causing the woman to go up onto the hood of the car. A man then grabbed the car and clung to the side of it as it accelerated rapidly on Walnut Street. The man and woman remained on the vehicle until it turned abruptly onto eastbound 6th Street, throwing both people off, according to police.

Police say the owner of the car, Christi J. Bennett, was staying at a motel in Scottsburg, Indiana. Police traveled to Scottsburg and detained the man and woman involved. The man was interviewed and released. Bennett was transported to the Bloomington Police Department to be interviewed, but she and her legal counsel declined to provide a statement.

Bennett was arrested on the following preliminary charges:

  • Criminal Recklessness, level 6 felony (two counts)
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, level 6 felony
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Bodily Injury, class A misdemeanor.

She has not been formally charged.

"Incidents like this don't come out of nowhere," Nicole Bolden, the Bloomington city clerk, said. "There are smaller incidents and there are larger incidents and sometimes they bubble up to the surface.

Bolden said she's happy there's some progress in the steps toward justice in her city.

The community is calling for accountability.

"I think we are long overdue for a change," Brady, a Bloomington resident, said. "I think society has been headed in one direction for years and years.