A dangerous incident at a rally of approximately 100 people behind Kingston City Hall remains under investigation, with one Kingston resident arrested, according to police.
On Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, members of the local Jewish community held the rally at Springer Market Square in support of Israel, just over a week after terrorist organization Hamas led a series of coordinated attacks on Israel. According to Kingston Police, members of the Kingston Police Community Oriented Response and Engagement Unit attended the rally “in order to keep the peace and monitor the crowds for any type of disruptions.”
Sadly, one such disruption did occur when, at approximately 5:10 p.m., officers observed a black truck stopped for a red light at the intersection of Brock and King Streets, police reported.
“When the traffic light turned green the truck did not proceed into the intersection,” Kingston Police said in a press release on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.
According to police, rally participants were walking in the crosswalk at King and Brock Streets at the same time. The idling black truck “suddenly accelerated,” turning into the crosswalk and cutting off the rally participants as they were crossing the street.
“The actions of the truck caused the pedestrians to fear they would be struck. They abruptly stopped and jumped back to avoid the speeding truck,” Kingston Police said.
“Police conducted a traffic stop and arrested the driver for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. The police investigation into these circumstances resulted in a belief that this act was a crime motivated by hate.”
The 18-year-old male driver of the truck, a Kingston resident, was arrested and charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, police said. After being transported to Kingston Police Headquarters, the accused man was later released with a future court date.
Kingston Police said they are continuing to investigate this incident and “are aware of a male individual who was also affected by the driver’s actions.” That individual is asked to contact Sergeant Clement Nesanayagam via email at [email protected].
In response to Kingstonist inquiries as to how police determined the incident was “motivated by hate,” Constable Anthony Colangeli responded via email.
“The incident is still being investigated and as such we are not releasing any additional information at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation,” Colangeli said.