Police say they are looking for the person who was behind the wheel of car that drove through a group of protesters in Midtown Manhattan Thursday evening.
The black Ford Taurus is seen speeding off after an altercation with protesters, including bicyclists who blocked the vehicle and two people who struck the car’s windows.
According to sources, it is believed that the people in the car were Donald Trump supporters that had gotten into a clash with the Black Lives Matter protesters outside.
Law enforcement sources told NY1's Dean Meminger that five people who were in the car were questioned, and all claimed they were scared or intimidated when the car was surrounded by protesters.
Juliet Germanotta claimed that she was one of the people in the car at the time of the incident. She said her group was counter-protesting on foot but got in a car after she claimed they were "verbally harassed." She then said her group tried to leave via car, but said protesters blocked them in, hit the car and tried to open the door. That's when she said the car drove off.
It is unclear how many people were injured in the incident. Witnesses tell NY1 two people were injured, but fire officials say no people were transported to the hospital from the location.
Appearing on Fox 5 Friday morning, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said video of the incident will help the investigation.
Shea said he believes multiple people were inside the vehicle but no one has come forward to cooperate with officers.
“We have to interview both sides. We'd like to interview anyone that was in that vehicle, because we believe there were multiple people in that vehicle, and anyone who was on the scene and certainly anyone that was injured,” the police commissioner said.
During a separate appearance, NYPD Chief of Patrol Fautso Pichardo reiterated an earlier statement from the department, shooting down rumors that the car was an unmarked police vehicle.
"This car is definitely without a doubt not an NYPD-owned police car," Pichardo said on WCBS 880 Radio.
The protesters were calling for justice in the case of Daniel Prude, a resident of Rochester, New York who died after an arrest by the city's police department.
Police video released by the Prude family and Free the People ROC shows two officers pinning Prude in the middle of the street. Another held his head down. A mesh bag was placed over Prude's head after he told police he had COVID-19 and spit at officers.
For two minutes, officers pinned him to the cold pavement, one using a "pushup" stance on Prude's back. He remained naked as he was taken into custody.
Prude lost consciousness during the restraint. He was taken to the hospital and placed on life support. He died on March 30.
An autopsy reported Prude had angel dust in his system.
Sources tell Spectrum News Prude died of complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint-due to exited dilirium due to acute phencyclidine - or angel dust- intoxication. The death was ruled a homicide.