ST. LOUIS — The man accused of driving his car through a vigil for a transgender woman in St. Louis has been charged.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Mark Colao was charged with a felony count of resisting arrest by fleeing and two misdemeanor charges for leaving the scene of an accident and operating a vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner.
From the Post-Dispatch:
Police say Colao, of the 2900 block of St. Vincent Avenue, drove his car through protesters who were blocking Manchester Avenue and Sarah Street in the Grove neighborhood Wednesday night.
After Colao pushed his car through the protesters, he gave the middle finger to a police officer who pulled alongside his car and “accelerated aggressively” as he left the scene, according to charging documents.
He initially refused to stop for officers, police say. They caught up to him after he “violently applied his brakes” to avoid striking traffic several blocks away, at Chouteau Avenue and Grand Boulvard, where he was arrested, according to police.
According to the Post-Dispatch and Riverfront Times, St. Louis police stated that protesters surrounded Colao’s car and started hitting it. Police released a video of the incident showing protesters around the car.
From the Riverfront Times:
Protesters have contested parts of the police narrative, saying Colao was the aggressor. They describe him honking and flipping them off with both hand before he drove through the crowd. He initiated the confrontation, demonstrators say. Three people hit by the Mercedes suffered minor injuries and refused to medical attention.
The vigil and protest was for Kiwi Herring, a transgender woman who was killed by police Tuesday night after allegedly slashing her partner and police. The Riverfront Times reported that Wednesday protest was the second following a Tuesday night march in the Central West End area of St. Louis.