Signs of the times, part two

I’ve seen some bluster on the right lately, to the effect of, “If those protestors get in my way, I’m going to run them down!”

Of course, if you do that, you will end up where you belong: jail.

A truck driver from South Fairmount was arrested Monday after he drove toward a group of anti-war protesters with his tractor-trailer rig in the West End.

“It (the semi cab) stopped about 10 feet from the nearest protester,” Larry Schartman, one of the about 40 people who were participating in a “Peace in Iraq” rally, said Monday night. “Thank God nobody got hurt.”

Police charged James Watters, 49, with aggravated menacing, inducing panic and reckless operation in the incident that occurred about 6 p.m. on the Ezzard Charles Drive bridge over Interstate 75.

According to the police report, an officer observed Watters drive his truck onto the sidewalk of the pedestrian walkway toward a large group of protestors causing them “to run in fear of being hit.”

“It was an antiwar demonstration. We were holding up signs so the people on the interstate could see them,” said Mary Ann Reese, 46, of East Walnut Hills. “There were 30 or 40 of us standing there holding our signs and I turned around and he was on the sidewalk coming towards us leaning on his horn.

“The general prevailing sentiment was that some of us were going to get hit. One person was in a wheelchair, so he really had to scatter. It was frightening. It (the semi) did stop before he hit anyone.”