Bogdan Vechirko, the semi-truck driver who nearly collided with protesters on Interstate 35 West, was released without charges on Tuesday.
The incident occurred on Sunday night, while roughly 1,500 activists were blocking the highway on the interstate. Officials said Bogdan was turned onto 35W before signs and blockades were up to inform people of the blockage. Bogdan’s vehicle can be seen braking and honking his horn to alert protesters, allowing them to scramble out of the way.
Former Minnesota Viking and Fox Sports Broadcaster Ben Leber tweeted his support for Bogdan Vechirgo
Bogdan should be applauded for his swift and safe actions that saved many lives. https://t.co/eOqwh49BkY— Ben Leber (@nacholeber) June 2, 2020
Officials only had until Tuesday to hold Vichirko in jail, and though investigators are still collecting evidence on the situation, officials have said there’s no information showing the act was intentional. “We don’t have any information that makes this seem like this was an intentional act. It wasn’t that he went around the barricades to get to the protest,” said Commissioner of Public Safety, John Harrington, according to KARE 11.
Despite this, some have accused Bogdan Vechirko of being a “terrorist,” and many protesters tried attacking him during the incident, climbing onto the vehicle and trying to bash in the windows. Some people tried to protect him though, shielding him from the incoming melee.
Democrat Majority Leader Ryan Winkler has spread fake news about Bogdan Vechirko by accusing him of being a white nationalist. Winkler deleted his tweet by did not apologize to Vechirko.
During the arrest, all of Bogdan’s personal effects were taken from his person and his truck, leaving his pregnant wife without the ability to access credit card accounts. Bogdan’s wife, Liudmila Vechirko, put out a video saying “Due to multiple requests, I am recording this video for all of you who care and want to help out our family.” In the video, she holds up a piece of paper showing the only real PayPayl donation link to the family. Liudmila said, “I am very thankful for all of you with open hearts.”
The account is @freebogdan