A woman who was alone in her car with her dog hit a protester with her SUV last May was found not guilty of assault.
Viral video shows driver Jennifer Watson fleeing a chaotic scene on May 28, 2020, after numerous people surrounded, pounded on, or jumped on her vehicle while apparently protesting police after George Floyd’s death. As she drives off and finally breaks free from the crowd, she hits one male protester, identified as 22-year-old Max Bailey.
According to her defense team, 37-year-old Watson was found not guilty of an assault charge. She was, however, found guilty of a misdemeanor reckless driving charge.
“The incident, which was caught on video, happened May 28, 2020 near the intersection off Colfax Avenue and Broadway,” 9News reported (see video below). “Video shows several people surrounding her SUV and eventually when she drives off, her car veering to the right, knocking a man to the ground.”
Ryan Brackley, an attorney for Watson, said his client was scared for her safety, according to 9News:
Watson was apparently caught in a traffic jam because of a protest in Denver over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Watson’s attorney said she was simply trying to get home when she was “diverted” by protesters near the state capitol.
“She was alone in her car with her dog when she was surrounded by people who began kicking and hitting her car and taunting and yelling at her,” Brackley told the news station. “While stopped, Mr. Max Bailey jumped up onto the hood of her car and her windshield was smashed in two places. She was fearful for her safety.”
The man who crawled on the top of Watson’s car claims he did so because he feared she was going “run me over.”
“The reason I was in front of the car was to make sure everyone was safe and to get this lady to stop from running over protesters,” Bailey said. “The reason I got on top of the car was because she accelerated into me and I’m not going to lie down and let somebody run over me.”