Corrections Officer Suspected of Driving Into Protesters at RI Detention Center Resigns

The corrections officer accused of driving into a crowd of protesters outside a Rhode Island detention center earlier this week has resigned from his position.

The Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls issued a statement Friday saying Capt. Thomas Woodworth stepped down. His resignation comes a day after the facility said Woodworth had been placed on administrative leave.

Woodworth is the man believed to have nearly run over the group of Jewish activists who were protesting federal immigration policies.

"The incident which occurred on Aug. 14 remains under active investigation by the Rhode Island State Police and under internal investigation by the Wyatt," read the statement by the detention facility.

Officials at the center have not explicitly said whether Woodworth was driving the truck, saying that was part of the overall investigation.

The Jewish youth movement Never Again Action said at least two people were injured, one seriously, Wednesday night after a pickup that protesters said was operated by a uniformed corrections officer drove up to an entrance blocked by demonstrators.

Video posted by the group showed the vehicle stopping before again moving forward.

Protesters surrounded the truck, screaming and chanting: "The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!"

Never Again Action said Jerry Belair, 64, of Warren, suffered a broken leg and internal bleeding and was being evaluated at a hospital for a possible back injury. It didn't identify the other person it said was injured by the truck but said three other demonstrators were treated after inhaling pepper spray they say prison personnel used to disperse the crowd.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha, a Democrat, announced Thursday that his office and state police were investigating.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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