BREA, Calif. - As a group of people protested outside a U.S. representative's office in Brea over immigrant rights, a driver moved his car through the crowd, which resulted in the driver's brief arrest Thursday.
Authorities said the incident happened around 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of Brea Boulevard and Birch Street. It happened down the street from Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce's office.
Members of SEIU United Service Workers West union were in the crowd of about 200 people when they moved into the intersection. As they blocked the area, authorities said a driver on Birch Street continued trying to move through it even when protesters surrounded the vehicle.
At one point, a demonstrator jumped on the hood of the vehicle as the car moved forward and then stopped. Police were at the scene, saw the vehicle moving through the crowd and stopped the driver. His keys were removed from the car and he was arrested.
The driver, identified as 56-year-old Brea resident Daniel Wenzek, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, but later released pending further investigation.
The union's president, David Huerta, released a statement regarding the incident, saying six people were taken to a hospital for an evaluation. The incident was also called a "deliberate and hateful crime" in the statement.
But police described the situation as Wenzek just trying to get through the intersection. Protesters left the scene soon after the incident happened.
The investigation was ongoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.