Man drives car into crowd of N Dakota pipeline protesters, threatens them with gun (VIDEO)

Police stand guard in a Dakota Access pipeline construction facility during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Mandan, North Dakota, U.S. November 12, 2016. © Stephanie Keith
North Dakota authorities are investigating an incident where a woman claims she was struck by a man driving a truck who fired shots in the air.

Hundreds of protesters linked arms and blocked two entrances to a work yard for the Dakota Access oil pipeline for several hours on Saturday near the town of Mandan, North Dakota, prompting workers to leave the area. The area is 50 miles north of where protesters are camping.

Morton County sheriff’s spokesman Rob Keller said the crowd of about 500 protesters left the work yard in the afternoon. No one was arrested. Keller said the department is looking into an incident that occurred Saturday.

Videos and pictures posted on line show part of a confrontation with a man in a white pick-up truck holding a handgun and yelling obscenities while driving through protesters.

In one video protesters are seen walking away from the yard site, followed by a line of vehicles as the videographer turns to see a group around one vehicle and we are told, “The man is armed with a gun and he is pointing it at people.”

A man is seen trying to drive his van forward as protesters surrounded it, a gun in his hand, tooting his horn.

“Get the f*** out of my road,” the man yells in the Four Square Concrete white pick-up truck. “This is my way home!”

The man continues to drive his vehicle slowly with his gun in his hand.
“Go around – we’re peaceful. We don’t have guns!” said a protester. “Put your gun away.”

Protesters surrounded the truck with their hands up, with some of them on their knees in prayer, as it inches forward.

“This is my way home. This is the way I go home!” yells the man.

A woman’s scream is heard, the man exits the vehicle and takes a look around the passenger side while telling people to “back away.”

He gets back into the vehicle and starts driving again, when someone yells, “There is someone under the car.” Viewers are not shown this.

Then the truck’s engine is revved and a woman is seen holding on to the truck’s side mirror as another woman tries to hold on to her. The driver speeds up and the women fall on the ground. 

Another video allegedly shows the man later raising his gun into the air and firing several shots, although it is not clear whether any protesters were nearby at the time.

Keller said they are trying to determine who fired the weapon.

Keller said a protester was injured in the incident and an ambulance was called but she refused treatment.

Reuters reported a Facebook post said the woman’s hand had been injured, requiring three stitches to a finger, and that her feet had been run over. The woman was not identified.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company heading the construction of the pipeline said the man with the gun “is not associated with the pipeline project in any way.”

The four-state, 1,200-mile pipeline is complete except for under the Missouri River in North Dakota. The pipeline would transport oil from Bakken shale oil from North Dakota. Protesters fear the pipeline could affect water supply and disturb tribal cultural sites.