Troy Ingraldi was directing traffic at the back of a memorial march for residential school survivors on June 4 when he says a blue pickup truck pulled up behind him.
“He stopped and got out of his vehicle and started cussing and yelling at me; started pushing me in my forehead, tapping my forehead and saying, ‘I want to see your permits, I want to see your permits’,” Ingraldi told APTN News.
“I said, ‘The permits were upfront.’ I tried calming him down. He got angry and irate, and I was like, ‘You have to stop, you can’t go anywhere.’ And he said, ‘I will run you over, everybody else, too.’”
Organizers of the march in Mission, B.C., say a video of the incident has been handed to the RCMP.
Ingraldi said he’s still having trouble dealing with what happened next.
He was like, ‘I don’t care if there are kids on the road. I will run them over, too. Keep filming me – make me famous.’”
Ingraldi alleged the driver injured him with his vehicle.
“He ran me over from the front part of his truck, the front left fender. It took me under the truck, and the tires spit me out, and I rolled onto the ground and I laid there for about a split second,” he said.
“…He had a smile on his face while he did it.”
In a news release about the incident, Mission RCMP described the 77-year-old male driver as “impatient.”
This despite the fact that he hadn’t been interviewed yet by police on what happened.
Witness Kayley Mclaren said she tried to stop the truck by pulling out in front of it.
“I begged and pleaded with this man – there are elderly – there are disabled people marching for a purpose. This is Indigenous land,” she said. “This man didn’t care. He called us ‘dirty f**king Indians,’ he looked me in the face laughing saying he was going to ‘run my children over.’”
Subhead: ‘Anger’ at meeting between chiefs and RCMP
The head of the march organizer – Crazy Indians Brotherhood – said First Nations leaders met with the RCMP in Chilliwack, B.C., to discuss what happened.
Garett Dan said the driver allegedly hit four people in the march near the site of the former St. Mary’s residential school on the Lougheed Highway.
Dan said the meeting held at the Cheam First Nation band office went on for about four hours and got “out of hand” at one point as everyone sat in a circle.
He said there was anger over the alleged actions of the driver who turned himself in two days later.
He said they wondered why the suspect was not in custody?
The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dan said the Mounties did confirm they were investigation to determine if charges would be laid.
Police had said in an earlier news release that two of the four marchers who were struck suffered minor injuries.
Dan has said the driver was goading marchers even before the walk began.
“We never stopped traffic, we slowed it down,” he explained, adding the driver was telling people to stop the march and get off the road, “stuff like that.”
Dan said the march to the former institution was emotional because participants were calling for ground-penetrating radar to search the site for possible unmarked graves of children who did not survive their forced attendance at St. Mary’s.
Despite that, Dan said the man told marchers to “get over” residential schools.
“Our people went through a lot of trauma and abuse in residential school and it’s not like they can just blank that out,” said Dan.
“It’s exactly like telling a vet to get over the war.”
With files from the Canadian Press