While an investigation is ongoing after a 36 year old was arrested for driving through a homeless encampment next to the Integrated Care Hub, the incident is not being seen as intentional.
A person close to the Hub said while they can’t say any more due to the ongoing police investigation, the incident is not considered to be a hate crime based on information available.
The incident took place sometime around 9 PM on Wednesday night, and at 10:36 Kingston Police notified the public and said the scene had been secured.
Thursday at 1PM, police released a statement stating that the driver unintentionally struck a tent at a low speed – and assured the public that this was not a targeted attack on the ICH or occupants of its grounds.
The release states that dangerous driving reported by eyewitnesses was the driver attempting to flee from a crowd which assembled around the vehicle after it initially struck a tent containing two people isolating for COVID.
“A crowd subsequently formed around the vehicle and members of the crowd confronted the driver of the motor vehicle. In an attempt to flee the crowd, the driver drove in a dangerous manner through the crowd striking two other individuals,” the release states.
“The driver of the motor vehicle then drove directly to Kingston Police headquarters where they were arrested on charges related to this incident.”
The driver was held in custody and will have a bail hearing on Thursday, they face charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle cause bodily harm, criminal negligence cause bodily harm, and leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.
Three were transported to hospital by ambulance with varying degrees of injuries, however police say none of the injuries sustained by campers are considered life threatening.
Late Wednesday night, the Integrated Care Hub consortium of partners issued a release saying they were “shocked and horrified” to hear of the incident, but clearly still trying to figure out next steps.
“We are shocked and horrified at the news of what took place on the ICH property. Details are still unclear, but our understanding is that a vehicle entered the ICH property and collided with tents where individuals isolating with COVID-19 were resting,” the release states.
“This is yet another reminder of how much work there is to yet to do to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to have a home where they can live in dignity.”
While a community call out for support has not yet been made, ICH partners ask the community to monitor socials including @trellishiv on Instagram and Facebook for updates on needs in the wake of this event.