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Woman pleads guilty to driving through protesters on Monument Circle

Must pay restitution to two victims, serve probation and perform community service
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Posted at 6:47 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 07:03:29-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A woman has pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from when she drove her minivan through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters on Monument Circle.

Diane Goebel formally pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon. It stemmed from an incident that happened June 8, 2020, when demonstrations were taking place almost daily following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, as well as the police shooting deaths in Indianapolis of Dreasjon Reed and McHale Rose.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office says Goebel was driving her minivan east on the south side of Monument Circle. According to witness statements listed in court documents filed against Goebel and video footage obtained from nearby businesses, Goebel was in traffic approaching a group of pedestrians participating in a demonstration. The prosecutor's office says they believe Goebel attempted to drive slowly through the group when her vehicle moved forward, striking several pedestrians. At least four people suffered injuries.

One of the demonstrators involved in the incident told police that he saw the minivan try to pull through the crowd and when it got to him he jumped on the hood "so it wouldn't take out his legs." He said the driver continued to accelerate and he rolled off, landing on his back and elbow and striking his head.

According to court documents, surveillance footage shows Goebel’s van trying to move "forward through a narrow gap in the pedestrians." Two pedestrians then walked in front of the vehicle. They appeared to “bend backward” as the van continued to move forward slowly, according to a probable cause affidavit.

More protesters then approached the vehicle and started beating on its hood. Prosecutors say that’s when Goebel’s van sped up, even though several protesters were in front of it.

Under her plea agreement, Goebel must pay more than $2,600 in restitution to two of the people who were injured, plus court costs. She also must perform 48 hours of community service and serve 361 days on probation.