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Woman who drove into protesters arrested Wednesday night



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Christi J. Bennett, 66, was arrested July 8 for two counts of criminal recklessness and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, one resulting in bodily injury and one resulting in serious bodily injury. Bennett accelerated through protesters blocking her car Monday night just after the conclusion of a protest in response to a racist attack on Monroe County human rights commissioner Vauhxx Booker on July 4. Courtesy Photo

Bloomington police arrested Christi J. Bennett, 66, at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Scottsburg, Indiana, for offenses related to hitting protesters Monday according to a police press release.

Bennett was charged with two counts of criminal recklessness and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, one resulting in bodily injury and one resulting in serious bodily injury. She is now out of jail on a $500 bond, which is a standard bond amount set for the felony levels of her charges, Sgt. Dana Cole said.

The police found Bennett at Mariann Travel Inn Motel about 68 miles from Bloomington. Bloomington Police Department Capt. Ryan Pedigo would not release information on how police found Bennett but credited investigators for their work in finding her. 

“The investigators that were working on this case, they worked pretty tirelessly to locate this vehicle and this woman and man involved,” Pedigo said.

According to the press release, investigators determined Wednesday that the registered owner of the vehicle that hit protesters was staying at a motel in Scottsburg, Indiana, and located the 2015 red Toyota Corolla when they arrived at the motel. Investigators then saw the owner of the car, later determined to be Bennett, and a man exiting a motel room and detained them.

Police interviewed the man and released him. Officers took Bennett into custody and transported her to BPD to be interviewed by detectives. Bennett and her legal counsel chose not to speak to them, and she was then taken to the Monroe County Jail.

Police took the car involved in the attack to collect evidence.

Bennett hit two people Monday night around 9:30 p.m. when she accelerated through protesters blocking her car. She fled the scene and was not located by police until Wednesday night.

Pedigo said it was especially difficult for investigators to locate Bennett because she was staying at a motel. The address on the vehicle registration was also no longer valid.

“We thank our police detectives for their tireless work over the last three days to identify and apprehend the driver,” Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said in a press release Thursday.

According to Bennett's criminal record, she has been convicted of stalking with a deadly weapon in Monroe and Morgan counties three times since 2004.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include information about Bennett's bond.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story did not included that some of Bennett's convictions were in Morgan County. The IDS regrets this error.

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