Rincon Police Chief describes driver plowing through parade

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 3:54 PM EDT
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RINCON, Ga. (WTOC) - The Rincon community is in shock after a driver plowed through a parade over the weekend narrowly missing hundreds of attendees.

And now, Rincon’s police chief is delivering a stern warning.

“Any individuals that want to think about this in the future: If you intend harm on our children, our citizens and our officers, the threat will be eliminated by whatever means necessary,” said Rincon Police Chief Jonathon Murrell.

Police arrested 38 year old Anthony Rodriguez after officials say they purposely drove their vehicle around a manned barricade straight into the parade route narrowly avoided the hundreds of children and families looking on.

“All the adults on that float were actually on the float and the kids were walking next to the float and they literally had to reach down to snatch kids out the way of the vehicle.”

Rodriguez drove for almost a mile before Rincon K9 officer Ian Gallagher consciously drove head on into the suspect’s vehicle.

Rincon’s police chief read a statement from Gallagher at the news conference.

“He said his kids were there along with many other kids and families. I hope others would’ve done the same. I had literally less than a second to decide what I was going to do.”

Police say none of the parade’s more than 600 participants were injured but fears are still high over this parade that’s been a staple in this community for years.

“I won’t have my kids out there next year.”

Officer Gallagher was taken to a hospital but is expected to be ok. As for Rodriguez, they are being held in the Effingham County jail on aggravated assault charges without bond.

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