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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cal Bahr (R)

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Friday, October 23, 2020

St. Paul – Today, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that the truck driver who drove onto the Interstate 35W Bridge during a protest in May has been criminally charged. The driver’s name is Bogdan Vechirko. Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican-East Bethel) offered his reaction.

“This is outrageous,” said Rep. Bahr. “I know Bogdan, and Bogdan should not be charged with these crimes. He brought his truck to a stop before anyone was harmed. For some reason, everyone is mad at Bogdan for driving on that interstate. Let me be clear, he was engaged in commerce on an interstate highway, that’s what a trucker does. Moreover, it is a violation of federal law for any pedestrian to be on an interstate highway. If anyone is charged it should be the protestors and enforcement agencies that allowed this to happen!”

Bogdan Vechirko has been charged with threats of violence, a felony, and criminal vehicular operation, a gross misdemeanor. 

“I have held a commercial driver’s license since the federalization of commercial licenses,” said Rep. Bahr. “I know firsthand what it takes to stop one of these machines. The fact that no one was killed or maimed is a testament to Bogdan’s prowess behind the wheel. Over.”

Rep. Bahr concluded, “After Bogdan came to a stop, the rioters pulled him from his truck and mercilessly attacked him and his vehicle. Frankly, the only person harmed on that bridge was Bogdan, yet he is being charged? Mike Freeman should be charging the assailants. These actions are straight out of Orwell’s Animal Farm. Crime is being lauded and hardworking, bluecollar folks are prosecuted. Disgusting.”