Glenn Wheet found guilty of criminal recklessness
The state presented their case on Tuesday saying Wheet approached the area on July 4 and initially turned on Front Street, away from the bridge, as the other cars had, but then turned around and drove onto the bridge. He allegedly drove over two rows of orange traffic cones and hit four of the protesters before he drove off.
One of the demonstrators hit by Wheet’s vehicle testified he had been dragged by Wheet’s vehicle. He said he lost his footing when Wheet’s SUV began moving, so he grabbed the passenger side mirror and held on, fearing he would be run over if he let go.
He testified when he lost his grip, he landed on the pavement and suffered road rash all over his lower back and legs, and a head injury.
The demonstrator also testified he pounded on Wheet’s vehicle. He said there were children and others in the crowd and didn’t want anyone to get hurt.
On the second day of trial, Wheet took the stand.
He told jurors that on July 4, 2020, he and his son wanted to go to the Meijer on Main Street to pick up condensed milk for a cake and look at camping gear for an upcoming trip-- and was surprised to see a group of protesters on the bridge. He initially drove away from the protesters, but after some deliberation, he believed they would move out of the way if he asked.
He was surprised when they approached his car and started pounding on it. He said he felt "under attack."
Wheet told the jury he thought they would get out of the way once he accelerated-- and he said he accelerated, to get away from the demonstrators, even with Trevor Davis hanging from his side mirror.
When court resumed on Thursday, the state and defense presented their closing arguments and the jury began deliberations.
The jury returned with a verdict around 2:30 p.m.
A judge will determine whether he is guilty of a class A misdemeanor or Level 6 felony at sentencing.