A man allegedly tried to run over a 60-year-old protestor outside a Planned Parenthood office in Chico, California on June 25. The protestor’s graphic picture of an aborted unborn child may have triggered the attack, police said.
Mathew Reid Haver, 40, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly tried to mow down James Canfield with a 1991 GMC sports utility vehicle, the Paradise Post reports.
Canfield avoided the SUV and was not seriously injured. However, Chico Police Lt. John Carrillo reported the man was clearly shaken by the experience. Canfield is a regular demonstrator at Planned Parenthood and also at the Women’s Health Center across the street from the Chico Police Department.
The protester reportedly has a large sign with a graphic photo of an aborted child.
According to the investigation, Haver had a child with him in the vehicle as he neared the demonstrator and the child asked what was on the sign. Lt. Carrillo said Haver apparently became enraged over the picture, lost control of his emotions and tried to strike Canfield with his vehicle.
Witnesses took down the SUV’s license plate and police were able to determine the identity and residence of the alleged driver. Officers detained, interviewed and arrested Haver at his home.
The accused driver was initially transported to a police department holding facility but had an unspecified medical emergency requiring his transport to Enloe Medical Center. According to the Paradise Post, Lt. Carrillo said no one attempted to harm Haver but would not say if he attempted to harm himself.
Assault with a deadly weapon is the most serious charge against Haver, but he also faces several misdemeanor charges. He was reportedly driving with a suspended license and had switched his license plates with another vehicle he had recently bought.