Police: Driver in custody after 6 people struck by car during protest in Manhattan

Scene of crash involving protesters on Manhattan's East Side.
Scene of crash involving protesters on Manhattan's East Side. Photo credit Mack Rosenberg/WCBS 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — At least six people suffered injuries after a car plowed into a group of protesters on the East Side of Manhattan on Friday afternoon.

It happened at 3rd Avenue and East 39th Street in Murray Hill around 4 p.m. Friday.

The circumstances of what caused the car to go into the crowd were unclear, but graphic video posted to Twitter appeared to show several people surrounding the vehicle before sped through the crowd, hitting several people.

Surveillance video obtained by a WABC-TV assignment editor showed a different angle of the incident, which showed several people chasing after the vehicle.

The area was closed to traffic due to as police conducted their investigation.

Several police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances responded to the scene.

"Please avoid the area of 3rd Avenue & 39 Avenue in Manhattan due to a vehicle collision involving multiple pedestrians. Information at this time is preliminary, updates to follow," the NYPD tweeted.

Approximately 40 to 50 protesters were participating in a demonstration to support U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees on a hunger strike at a Bergen County jail in New Jersey.

The demonstration began in Times Square and eventually made its way south to 3rd Avenue and 39th Street.

One protester told WCBS 880's Mack Rosenberg that the group was marching west, crossing 39th Street, and as they approached 3rd Avenue, a black sedan that was traveling in the same direction as the group, rammed into the protesters.

"A black sedan, all black, accelerated through whoever was in front," protester Christian Resseguie said. "From what I could see she stepped on the gas. It didn't seem to be an accident. I jumped to the side, the person next to me wasn't so lucky."

The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene. Video on social media purportedly showed the female driver being escorted in handcuffs into a police vehicle.

The alleged driver, 52-year-old Kathleen Casillo, was charged with reckless endangerment.

Several protesters have also been detained.

Police said at least six protesters were injured and taken to local hospital. The injuries don't appear to be life-threatening.