The driver of a car seen in a viral video driving through a protest in downtown Portland, Ore., last week said Friday that he never tried to run them over, according to reports.
“When you have an angry mob yelling at you and beating on your car you just want to get out of there,” Kent Houser, 74, told the Oregonian.
The demonstrators were protesting last Saturday after a fatal police shooting that occurred the previous week.
Progressive activists accused Houser of attempting to mow down the protesters, but he says he had no idea that police had shot and killed Patrick Kimmons, 27, on Sept. 30, according to the paper.
Houser, a southwest Portland resident, said he was driving through downtown to meet his wife, the paper reported.
“I saw them, they saw me, and they rushed my car,” Houser said. “Admittedly, I might have given them the one-finger salute when I rolled up.”
“I saw them, they saw me, and they rushed my car. Admittedly, I might have given them the one-finger salute when I rolled up.”
Portland Police Sgt. Chris Burley told Portland’s KGW-TV that the driver reported he was shoved during the interaction.
Authorities are investigating the incident.
Houser said he also received a “nasty postcard” recommending that he sign up for anger management training, the Oregonian reported.