Editor’s note: This story corrects information on which prosecutor’s office was given details on the case.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The driver of a car that collided with a striking Youngstown city school district picketer last month told police the picketer jumped on his car.
However, several witnesses, including other picketers in front of Volney Rogers Middle School, told police the driver of the car was holding up a phone like he was recording something just before the picketer and the car collided.
The driver told police he did not take any video. A report of the Aug. 23 incident does not mention if police examined the driver’s phone.
Witnesses, including those on the picket line, told police the car “came in pretty fast,” collided with the picketer, then left and parked at the school because picketers were hitting his car with their signs.
The driver told police he honked his horn twice before the picketer “ran into his car and fell on the pavement,” reports said.
WKBN is not naming the driver of the car because he has not been charged. Lt. Robert Gentile, head of the city police department’s Traffic Unit, said accident investigators have collected evidence and submitted it to the City Prosecutor for review. Gentile said the case is still under investigation.
The picketer, a teacher, was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center to be treated for his injuries.
The narrative in the accident report taken by city police also quotes a deputy for the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, who works school security, telling police he saw the teacher roll off the car like he was hit, and the car then fled at a high rate of speed from the collision.
When the deputy talked to the driver, the driver said the picketer “jumped onto his car, and what was he supposed to do?” the report said.