A vehicle plowed through a crowd of peaceful protesters in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday after police broke up violent clashes between far-right groups and counter-demonstrators.
Multiple people were injured in the crash, according to Charlottesville Police, who urged people to stay clear of the area to allow emergency medical personnel to respond.
It was not immediately clear if the incident was deliberate, though one witness said the crash was "absolutely intentional," according to The Washington Post's Joe Heim.
I talked to one eyewitness who said the collision was "absolutely intentional". He was 10 feet away. Saw 14-16 people injured. pic.twitter.com/qYlACibGMT— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) August 12, 2017
The driver of the vehicle was taken into police custody.
Video posted on social media shows a car careening through the crowd as another vehicle rams into its rear bumper before backing away. In other photos and videos posted online Saturday, people can be seen being treated for injuries.
Car crashed into pedestrians in downtown Charlottesville. Many injuries. Trying to find out more now pic.twitter.com/DuH3FDPmwb— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) August 12, 2017
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer took to Twitter after the crash to express outrage at the chaos that transpired Saturday, urging protesters to clear the streets and "go home."
I am furious & heartsick by the car crash that has injured many. Please all-go home to your families. We can work tomorrow. GO HOME! PLEASE!— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 12, 2017
Violence erupted in Charlottesville earlier on Saturday ahead of a scheduled gathering by white supremacists, white nationalists and alt-right groups at noon to protest the city's decision to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
But after demonstrations in Emancipation Park and downtown Charlottesville ignited skirmishes between opposing groups, police in riot gear marched on the scene to disperse the crowds.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency shortly afterward.