Santa Fe police are investigating a possible hit-and-run of a pedestrian at the intersection of Paseo de Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail during the Black Lives Matter protest Friday.
No arrests have been made or charges filed in the case, though the Santa Fe Police Department has made contact with the accused driver. Police labeled it in their report as aggravated battery.
SFR has made repeated requests, but only today, one day shy of a week after the incident, obtained the report. Officers write that Justin Rhody was standing in the road as part of a demonstration and approached the driver's side of a Jeep Wrangler. Rhody extended his arms out to try to stop the Jeep from moving while the driver turned eastbound on Paseo de Peralta. Officers say they witnessed this first-hand.
"While the driver was turning Mr. Rhody was pushed backward," according to the report. Rhody denied medical attention. Both protesters and police officers tried to follow the Jeep, but lost the car in traffic.
Some social media posts and protesters' accounts described the driver appeared to try to purposely hit people standing on the street.
When police interviewed the driver of the Jeep on June 2, however, the officers didn't find any evidence that the vehicle had hit a pedestrian. The driver told officers he did not hit anyone and that a man had hit his car intentionally with his hands as he was driving by.
He also told officers that he was just trying to get away from the protesters and that his "training" from the military took over. He is a retired veteran.
On his Instagram account, Rhody wrote that the driver shouted, "You have no idea the type of guy you're fucking with!" at a protester who told him not to drive through the crowd and instead go another way.
That's when Rhody said the driver "accelerated making a sharp right turn while staring at me." Rhody said he asked police to file the incident as "attempted vehicular manslaughter," though police told him it would be considered a "crash."
Rhody told The Santa Fe New Mexican the Jeep struck him in his hips. Attorney and New Mexico Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, is representing Rhody. SFR left a voicemail for Candelaria.
Last week, Candelaria tweeted that he would represent anyone arrested for protesting in New Mexico pro bono.
According to SFPD spokesman Greg Gurulé, the case is "active" and "still under investigation."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong title for Candelaria. We're sorry.