(DCWatchdog.com) – In a frightening incident that some rushed to proclaim a hate crime, an older man drove his vehicle through a crowd of illegal migrants outside a Walmart in North Carolina, injuring six.
You can watch a video news account of what happened further down this post.
What was initially suggested to be a car-ramming criminal act occurred at about 1:15 p.m. on Sunday in front of a Walmart store in Lincolnton, a town of 10,000 about 40 miles away from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Initially, the Lincolnton Police Department announced that the suspect – described as an “older white male” – seemed to have targeted the migrants on purpose.
Six people suffered injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment. The suspect drove a midsized black SUV and left immediately after hitting the migrants.
As the police were investigating the case, however, the suspect turned himself in on Monday.
68-year-old Daniel Gonzalez, a native of Hickory, North Carolina, arrived at the Lincolnton Police Department with several family members, the police announced in a release.
He told the investigators that the car plowing was not deliberate since he “accidentally hit the gas when he was pulling into a parking space, panicked and left the scene,” Lincolnton police Major Brian Greene told CNN.
“After speaking with detectives and the suspect’s family, we do not believe he intended to do it,” he added.
He added the suspect was charged with felony hit and run.
The police released a surveillance video showing an SUV “driving in front of a bus, over a tree-lined median and disappearing beyond the trees.” It also shows people running towards the spot where migrant workers had been standing.
“Their injuries range from a couple of broken bones and a broken ankle to some shoulder injuries, sprains and an abrasion on the scalp, but nothing life-threatening,” Greene said.
The Lincolnton PD’s statement declared later that Gonzalez “has been cooperative with detectives.” Following his arrest, he received a $50,000 secure bond.
Here is the video:
@DeirnesaJ is at Lincoln Courthouse this morning where Daniel Gonzalez is set to make an appearance and is facing charges of Felony Hit and Run after plowing his SUV into a group of migrant workers in Lincolnton. #Lincolnton #NorthCarolina #RISING pic.twitter.com/GU8vBqtrFr
— WCCB News Rising (@WCCBNewsRising) August 1, 2023