By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The driver of a Jeep at the center of controversy spoke with CBS4’s Rick Sallinger through his attorney. The driver was headed to the airport with a friend.

They suddenly found Interstate 225 was blocked. They believed it was an accident, according to the driver’s attorney, Kyle Sawyer.

(credit: CBS)

They then used GPS which directed them to the next on ramp. There they re-entered I-225 unaware Elijah McClain protesters had taken over the highway, explained Sawyer.

But Candice Bailey, a protest leader, doubts the story.

“You cannot see where the individual entered the highway. APD had it blocked off at Mississippi. Where did it come from? That’s a bold face lie,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

The Jeep was quickly attacked by the demonstrators including a truck which rammed the vehicle. The driver’s lawyer says his client made no attempt to strike protesters, just to leave. There was no call to 911 because there was no time to react, the attorney says.

One of the demonstrators opened fire on the Jeep, striking two other protesters.

(credit: CBS)

The Jeep’s driver was able to exit the highway and pulled in behind a police car and told his story.

“A man with a bat approached the vehicle and then began swinging at the vehicle. We then proceeded to speed off to avoid kind of damage to ourselves and the vehicle,” the Jeep’s passenger said in a video statement posted to YouTube.

Aurora Police Deputy Chief Harry Glidden told CBS4, “He felt like he was being threatened. He thought he was going to be attacked and he needed to escape, and that’s what he did.”

A video was then taken by a protester showing the driver and his companion. The attorney says police assisted them in leaving the area.

Sawyer, of O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC, says his client has received many threats and wants people to know he is not a racist, white supremacist or terrorist, just a guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Police continue to investigate.

Rick Sallinger

Comments (4)
  1. chip saunders says:

    After a clear case of self defensive driving the guy feels he needs to say he’s not a racist, white supremacist or terrorist? In a proper world, It would be the rioting anarchists pleading with the public for understanding and saying they didn’t mean to block a highway and assault drivers. My pistol is on the seat beside me rioters and I am NOT the Aurora or DPD. I will use it.

  2. Vince says:

    Too bad he didn’t run over some of these idiots.

  3. Randy Lahey says:

    What kind person brings a bat to a “peaceful protest” and then swings it at a vehicle?

    1. 2wheelwanderer says:

      there was nothing ‘peaceful’ about this – the media sure loves to twist stories about these riots but it’s obvious that people were carrying weapons so they were ready to attack

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