Driver suspected of striking, injuring woman during peaceful protest in Tacoma arrested in Oregon

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A 33-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run that seriously injured a woman during a peaceful protest outside of LeMay - America’s Car Museum in Tacoma in late January.

Tacoma police said Stephen Tadla was arrested in Bend, Oregon on Friday after Pierce County prosecutors filed charges Monday and issued a warrant for his arrest once they were able to link him to the vehicle driven during the incident.

At 6:10 p.m. on January 26, witnesses saw a pickup truck going southbound on East D Street, swerve onto the sidewalk and intentionally strike a protester, Tacoma police said. The driver kept going and eventually left Washington.

The victim, 49-year-old Theresa Evans, was taken to the hospital.

According to a report from The News Tribune, Evans suffered a concussion, head lacerations and a shattered pelvis.

After the incident, witness Stacey Soltoff said, “I don’t know if it was intentional on the driver’s part, but there is no doubt in my mind it was intentional to hit them and then drive off. There are no skid marks, there were no brake lights. They were not swerving before or after they drove up onto the sidewalk and hit a pedestrian.”

Tadla has been extradited to Tacoma and booked into the Pierce County Jail for first-degree assault and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

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