A man allegedly shouted anti-Asian comments and drove his truck toward a group of picnic-goers in Chicago on May 1, resulting in one victim sustaining serious injuries.
The incident: Timothy Nielsen, 57, was arrested after driving his red Ford F-150 into a group of friends picnicking on the 2900 block of West Logan Boulevard at around 5:15 p.m. that Saturday, reports Chicago Tribune.
- Before the attack, Nielsen reportedly told the group of 10–15 friends celebrating a birthday that seeing their “yuppies with dogs” angered him.
- Nick Lau, a 33-year-old Asian man, responded by telling the driver “his unsolicited comments were unwelcome.”
- Nielsen then yelled “f**king Asians” or “goddamn Asians” at Lau, said Rob Lopez, one of the picnic-goers.
- The racist comment prompted a shouting match that eventually led to Nielsen driving his vehicle over a curb into the group’s direction.
More details: Officials said Nielsen’s vehicle went onto the grassy median where the victims were situated, hitting one Caucasian woman.
- The woman was momentarily trapped under the truck and would have been crushed if not for a Yeti cooler under the vehicle that kept it from moving forward.
- She was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious condition and was released late Saturday night.
- In addition to the injured victim, another person was brought to the hospital but was in good condition and a pregnant woman nearly got struck by the truck. A third person refused medical treatment at the scene.
- Troy Brown, who is Black, said their multicultural group is part of a running club, consisting of Asian, Hispanic and white individuals, Block Club Chicago reported.
The aftermath: After the crash, Nielsen attempted to flee the scene on foot, but Brown and others held him until authorities arrived minutes later.
- While being subdued by the group, the driver swiped at Brown with a small knife, cutting him on his left arm.
- The officers also handcuffed a man who was also riding in the truck during the incident but only reported the driver’s arrest.
- Citing preliminary information, a spokesperson from the Chicago police said the incident is currently being investigated, but not as a hate crime, reports The Southern.
- Nielsen is charged with four counts of attempted murder, reported ABC 7.
- Photojournalist Jim Vondruska, who posted images of the incident on Instagram, shared that both of the men appeared to have slurred speech, indicating they were intoxicated at the time.
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