Two Peterborough men were charged following an altercation during a convoy event in the city on Saturday.
About two dozen vehicles — including several tractor-trailers and a farm tractor — made their way through the city, beginning in the west end. The event was organized by a group dubbed the “Peterborough Freedom Rally Convoy” to protest COVID-19 mandates.
However, early into the convoy, a man wearing a yellow vest whom police identified as a “counter-protestor” attempted to halt the convoy by standing at the intersection of Brealey Drive and Stenson Boulevard near the entrance to Fleming College.
Video shows two civilian vehicles initially going around the man, however, a tractor-trailer then approaches the man. The driver of the truck initially stops and begins to honk the truck’s horn. Then the video shows the large white truck slowly moving forward, forcing the man back a few steps.
Shortly after two men confront the individual, one yelling at the individual.
Fleming College security guards can be seen in the background, monitoring traffic as organizers of the convoy had initially planned to use Fleming’s parking lot as its starting point, however, Fleming denied them access.
Tweets (warning: graphic language):
The Peterborough Police Service says following an investigation, two men were charged on Sunday.
A 34-year-old Peterborough man with the convoy was charged with assault. He was released and will appear in court in Peterborough on March 8.
A 33-year-old Peterborough man identified as a counterprotester was charged with intimidation by blocking or obstructing a highway. He was released and will appear in court on March 10.
The driver of the truck was not charged as of Tuesday morning.
The convoy eventually ended up in the downtown core, greeted by a few dozen supporters in front of Peterborough City Hall on George Street.
Police thanked the community for its patience as officers monitored the convoy. No traffic infractions were reported during the event.
“By monitoring this event, police were able to ensure the safety of all members of the community which is the number one focus of the service,” police stated. “Peterborough Police Service would like to reiterate that ensuring the safety of our community does not equal an endorsement of the action. Every day and every event Peterborough Police Service balances the right to peacefully protest with the rights of the community.
“Peterborough Police understands that these are challenging times and that a lot of people are frustrated. The Peterborough Police Service is committed to public safety and will continue to be.”
A GoFundMe page was launched to support the legal fees for the man nicknamed “Yellow Vest Guy.”
A longer 12-minute video of the incident can be found on YouTube (warning: graphic language).
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