Glenn Wheet trial getting underway today
MISHAWAKA, Ind.--The trial for a Mishawaka doctor, accused of driving his vehicle into a crowd of protesters in 2020, is set to happen this morning, after it was delayed several times due to COVID-19 and because of a separate civil suit that ended up being thrown out.
According to court documents, 55-year-old Glenn Wheet, a Mishawka Pediatrician, is being charged with criminal recklessness for hitting a group of protesters with his SUV on July 4, 2020.
On that day, a group met at Battell Park and marched to the Main Street bridge to chalk up signage and names of victims of police brutality, following George Floyd’s death, amid unrest nationwide.
In order to allow them to protest safely, Mishawaka Police set up rows of orange traffic cones to block vehicles from entering the bridge during the demonstration.
Paige Wiseman, a demonstrator who was a part of the peaceful protest, tells ABC57 that the whole incident was unexpected and sudden. She says the group saw Wheet’s SUV coming towards the bridge, and tried to stop him by banging on his car and windows.
She says, her initial thought was to step in front of the vehicle to keep him from moving forward, but decided against it. That’s when Wheet allegedly sped up, and pushed through the crowd, hitting 4 of the protesters. One of them ended up getting dragged by his car, right before he turned off the bridge onto Mishawaka Avenue. At least one person was taken to the hospital.
Before Wheet’s arrest, he called police and told them he thought the cones were placed by the protesters, since there were no signs saying the bridge was closed. He said he felt threatened when they walked toward him, but claimed he didn’t mean to injure anyone.
Wiseman, however, doesn’t believe these claims, and hopes for a harsher punishment.
“We were just there to kind of show solidarity and raise awareness…he was smirking and smiling, and looking like he enjoyed every second of it and like he intended to cause conflict and possibly cause harm,” demonstrator Paige Wiseman said. “I’d hate for it to be a slap on the wrist or something he can just rid of with some money. I want him to feel the effects of what he did, I want him to serve time in jail, I want him to have a fun that’s large enough to affect him and I want his medical license to be taken away without the possibility of getting it again. I just feel like we need to take things seriously.”
ABC57 reached out to Wheet’s office and Wheet’s lawyer, and didn’t heard back.
Wheet’s trial gets underway at 10 AM at the Saint Joseph County Courthouse.
If found guilty, he could face 2 ½ years behind bars.