Woman charged with attempted murder for driving through crowd of competing protesters

Two people suffered "major" injuries in the incident.

September 26, 2020, 11:58 PM

A California woman has been charged with attempted murder after driving through a group of dueling protesters during a "Caravan for Justice" event Saturday afternoon.

The dueling protests held in Yorba Linda, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, quickly boiled over into animosity as Black Lives Matter demonstrators clashed with Donald Trump supporters.

"Approximately 30 minutes after the protests began, we began to receive reports of physical altercations occurring between the two protest groups, including at least one individual who was pepper-sprayed by another protestor," the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The crowd grew to about 250 people and due to the violence and "reports of individuals within the crowd having weapons" the sheriff's department declared an unlawful assembly.

It was after a dispersal order was given that a woman, identified as Tatiana Turner, drove through a group of protesters, many waving Trump flags, outside the Yorba Linda Public Library at about 3 p.m. local time. Two people, a man and a woman, were hit by the car, with both suffering "major injuries." Both are expected to survive, officials said.

Orange County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Dennis Breckner told Los Angeles ABC station KABC the woman struck by the vehicle broke both her legs.

PHOTO: Black Lives Matter protesters and counter protesters clash in Yorba Linda, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Police eventually declared the event an unlawful gathering and cleared the streets near Yorba Linda and Imperial.
Black Lives Matter protesters and counter protesters clash in Yorba Linda, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Police eventually declared the event an unlawful gathering and cleared the streets near Yorba Linda and Imperial.
Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP

The white sedan was pursued by dozens of protesters who smashed several of the car's windows before she was detained by law enforcement. Dozens of deputies were on hand for the two protests, which had been scheduled for weeks.

Turner, 40, of Long Beach, was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was booked into Orange County Jail.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department identified Turner as a member of the "Caravan for Justice" event.

Another person at the event, Jason Mancuso, 46, was arrested on charges of failure to obey the dispersal order, the sheriff's office said.

PHOTO: An unidentified woman is taken into custody after witnesses said she drove her car into a crowd of protesters in Yorba Linda, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.
An unidentified woman is taken into custody after witnesses said she drove her car into a crowd of protesters in Yorba Linda, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Authorities said people were struck by a car and injured during a Black Lives Matter protest and counter-protest about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP

The incident Saturday came two days after a person was hit by a pickup truck at a protest in Hollywood. Protesters surrounded the truck Thursday night after which it tried to get away from the situation and hit a person in the street, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

In another accident at the same event, two vehicles crashed into one another when a truck involved in the protests tried to block in a white Toyota Prius. The Prius backed into a Mustang as it tried to escape the situation, police said.

No one has been arrested in either incident Thursday and the investigation was ongoing.

ABC News' Abigail Shalawylo contributed to this report.

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