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Thursday, April 25, 2024
man drives through protesters

All charges against a man accused of driving through a crowd of protesters on Main Street in May have been dropped.

William John Connelly, 64, had all six counts of aggravated assault dropped by the state attorney's office Friday afternoon. He was arrested May 30 after driving into a crowd of protesters.

No protesters were struck by the car, according to Gainesville Police.


The charges were dropped because the state attorney's office said there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, according to court records. The document also calls for all evidence to be disposed of in accordance with state statutes.

The protesters were part of an offshoot demonstration after more than 1,000 people marched from Depot Park to Bo Diddley Community Plaza to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a now-fired Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. The protest was one of several against police brutality during the summer.

The Alligator called State Attorney William Cervone, State Attorney Executive Director Brian Kramer and Connelly’s attorney Mark Feather multiple times Friday evening for comment but was unable to reach them.

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