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Motorist rammed woman at Chicago picnic after allegedly yelling anti-Asian comments, said witnesses and officials

Motorist rammed woman at Chicago picnic after allegedly yelling anti-Asian comments, said witnesses and officials

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The scene in the 2900 block of West Logan Boulevard after a man behind the wheel of a pickup truck ran into a pedestrian on May 1, 2021.

CHICAGO — A 57-year-old motorist apparently angered by “yuppies with dogs” allegedly yelled anti-Asian comments before slamming into group of friends enjoying a birthday picnic, seriously injuring a woman in Logan Square, witnesses and officials said.

The crash happened about 5:15 p.m. Saturday in the 2900 block of West Logan Boulevard when a red pickup truck jumped a curb and went up onto the grass median between inner and outer Logan Boulevard before hitting at least one adult pedestrian, a woman, according to Chicago Fire Department Chief Walter Schroeder and police spokesman Anthony Spicuzza.

She was taken in serious condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Schroeder said.

Her friends said woman became briefly trapped under the truck, a Ford F-150, and said she was conscious and talking while being treated at the scene.

The group of friends said the man argued with them briefly before attacking them, angered by the presence of “yuppies with dogs” on the boulevard.

One of the people in the group said the man shouted anti-Asian comments at a member of the party before gunning the truck toward them.

The incident was being investigated as a crime, not a hate crime specifically, said a Chicago police spokesman, who was citing preliminary information that could change.

Charges against the man were pending as of about 9 p.m. Saturday.

Nick Lau, 33, a Logan Square resident who used to live just feet from the crash scene, told the driver “his unsolicited comments were unwelcome” and dismissively waved his hand at him.

At that point, according to Rob Lopez, another picnicgoer, the man yelled “f------ Asians” or “goddamn Asians” at Lau, who is Asian.

The comment escalated the arguing, and the man eventually hit the gas, hopped his truck over the curb and slammed into the picnic, striking and trapping the woman, witnesses said.

Lau said he did not hear or could not remember the alleged racial comment, but said he wasn’t initially antagonistic to the man, he simply wanted him to leave.

“I 100% heard ‘Asian’, that’s what kind of stood out,” Lopez said. “We’re a multicultural group, just hanging out. He said that, and that immediately — ‘f--- out of here, f--- off’ whatever,” Lopez said, indicating the comment angered him and elevated the shouting match. After striking their friend, the man attempted to flee, the picnicgoers said, gunning his engine.

A Yeti cooler trapped under the truck kept the spinning wheels from touching the ground and moving the truck forward, possibly saving their friend’s life and the lives of those surrounding the truck’s cab.

United States to, Restrict Travel From India, Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases. Joe Biden’s administration is set to ban all travel from India into the United States starting Tuesday. . White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the news on Friday. . Psaki said the decision to restrict travel was based on advice from the CDC and due India’s recent surge in COVID-19 cases. . She also cited the concerning fact that “multiple [COVID-19] variants” are circulating in the country. On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately. The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high Covid-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India, Jen Psaki, via 'WSJ'. According to the ‘Wall Street Journal,’ an administration official disclosed that the ban would not apply to some individuals. . This includes U.S. citizens, permanent residents and other exempted individuals such as humanitarian workers. . Those individuals would still be required to meet current quarantine and testing requirements that are in place for international travelers. . The U.S. now joins the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and Australia in restricting travel from India. . India reported an additional 386,452 COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the country’s total caseload to more than 18 million.

They said a pregnant woman was nearly struck by the vehicle. “We’re going to tell Yeti the cooler saved our friend’s life,” Lopez said.

The picnicgoers said they kept the motorist pinned in the cab when he tried to flee on foot before police arrived, within minutes, and took the man into custody.

Photos from bystanders apparently showed the man being placed in handcuffs with blood on his face.

Picnics, sunbathing, even concerts on the boulevard’s medians are commonplace during nice weather, and especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Logan Square farmers market is held along the south side of the street during the summer and fall.


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