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Protester describes being hit by car during protest in SLO

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 22:31:39-04

Protester Sam Grocott says he was hit by a silver BMW during a protest march that stopped traffic on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday.

"I do feel that he assaulted me with his car so I want whatever can be done to be done about that," Grocott said.

He says the driver of the BMW was yelling profanities at the protesters, telling them to get out of the way and driving onto the shoulder of the highway.

"And then just decided to floor it and that's when I ended up on his hood holding on next to the windshield wipers as other protesters gathered around to stop him, so I wasn't severely injured," Grocott explained.

Videos circulating on social media, which KSBY has seen but cannot share because of copyright laws, show a portion of the incident.

On Wednesday, the California Highway Patrol posted to Facebook, seeking to identify two protesters who investigators claim attacked the vehicle.

"One of them jumped on the hood of the vehicle," said Captain Greg Klingenberg, CHP San Luis Obispo-area Commander. "The other, after the gentleman had then jumped off the hood of the vehicle, the vehicle then had a path to leave the area and as they were leaving, another person took their skateboard and hit the rear window of the vehicle as it was leaving."

The CHP says pieces of glass fell onto a four-year-old child in the back seat.

"As you could certainly understand, having your family in the car, that you would not want to sit there amongst these people who are taking these types of actions," said Captain Klingenberg.

"I think me getting hit by a car sucks but I would take a bullet, I'd get hit by a car for any one of these people any day because these are my family, these are the people I love," Grocott said. "We need equality. We need justice. We need people to be held accountable. We just need things to change."

The CHP and San Luis Obispo Police Department have told KSBY they support peaceful protests but that Tuesday's protest was not safe or legal.

"These are people I consider family and these are people I love and I'm a very protective person and I would rather be injured than see anybody else injured," Grocott added.

The CHP is continuing to investigate the incident involving the car. Officers say the family involved is now receiving threats.