Iowa motorist accused of hitting abortion rights protester
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man faces two criminal charges accusing him of driving his vehicle through a group of abortion rights protestors in Cedar Rapids in June and striking a woman before driving away, court documents posted online Wednesday said.
David Alan Huston, 53, of Swisher, is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon — a vehicle — and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, according to the court documents.
There is no evidence to indicate the crash was politically motivated, Black Hawk County Attorney Brian Williams said in a statement. He said there also is no evidence that any protestors acted aggressively.
Huston did not immediately return messages Wednesday seeking comment on the charges, and online court records did not yet list an attorney for him.
A group organized by Indivisible Iowa and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa were protesting in front of the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids to support abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that make abortion legal nationwide.
Iowa law bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The state Supreme Court in June cleared the way for stricter limits when it reversed an earlier court decision that found the Iowa Constitution guaranteed the right to abortion. The Republican governor has promised to work through the courts to revive a six-week ban that was previously blocked.
Video of the June 24 crash shows protesters were crossing a street when a large pickup drove through the group, even as other vehicles waited for them to cross, Williams said in a statement. Protesters tried to to stop the pickup by blocking its path, resulting in one woman being struck. Court documents do not indicate the extent of her injuries.
Huston “then left the scene without any attempt to exchange information,” court documents say.
The crash happened in Linn County, but prosecutors asked a judge to shift the case to Black Hawk County due to a potential conflict of interest.
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