SUV driver plows through vaccine mandate protest injuring woman: sheriff

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One woman was injured Saturday when a 64-year-old man drove his SUV into a crowd of demonstrators protesting vaccine mandates in Palmdale, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The man plowed his vehicle through the group of people gathered near the intersection of 10th Street West and Rancho Vista Boulevard Saturday around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Lt. T. Kim of the sheriff’s department said.

Lt. Kim said the man had initially been part of the crowd before getting into a verbal disagreeing with some of the protesters. He then got into his Jeep Wrangler and drove onto the sidewalk, hitting a woman and leaving the scene, investigators said.

“A witness stated a man disagreed with the protest, entered his vehicle and intentionally drove toward the protesters,” Sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader wrote in a statement released Sunday. “The suspect then drove away westbound and out of view.”

LASD identified William Aslaksen as the driver of the Jeep Wrangler, and arrested him at his home about an hour after everything happened, the Antelope Valley Times reported. Police booked him at the sheriff's department Palmdale station where he's being held on $50,000 bail.

His alleged victim, identified only as a woman in her 40s, was taken to the hospital in stable condition and released the same day. She is expected to recover.

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