Crime

July 21, 2014

Car drives through group from Westboro Baptist Church protesting at KC concert

A Sunday night protest in Kansas City by the Westboro Baptist Church was interrupted when someone drove a car onto a sidewalk and into the group. The female driver eluded police who were monitoring the protest. The band Panic! At the Disco was performing at Crossroads KC, and the band said it would donate $20 to the Human Rights Campaign for each Westboro protester.

A Sunday night protest in Kansas City by the Westboro Baptist Church was interrupted when someone drove a car onto a sidewalk and into the group.

None of the 12 protesters was injured. The female driver eluded police who were monitoring the protest when the incident occurred just after 7 p.m. near 18th and Oak streets.

The Topeka-based group, known for its opposition to homosexuality and picketing at the funerals of U.S. soldiers, was protesting a concert by the group Panic! At the Disco at Crossroads KC at Grinders, according to Kansas City police reports.

Leading up to the show, the band said on social media that it would donate $20 to the Human Rights Campaign for each Westboro protester. The band later said it would round up to $1,000 and add a percentage of its merchandise sales.

According to police reports, two officers saw a gold Mercury Sable drive onto the sidewalk and into the group of protestors at the corner of 18th and Oak.

The vehicle then headed west on 18th Street “at a high rate of speed,” police reported.

The officers tried to catch up but the Mercury eluded them and last was seen heading north on Broadway from 18th Street.

Westboro group members did not want to prosecute or provide information to police. They continued to protest for about 10 minutes before departing, according to police.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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