Police in Vancouver this afternoon handcuffed and detained a man after a Patriot Prayer rally when he nearly ran his truck into a crowd of antifascist counter-protesters.

After a rally organized by the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, antifascist protesters marched north into downtown Vancouver along Columbia Avenue.

A black Chevy Silverado with Oregon plates and two large American flags and several small flags hanging from its windows (along with a Confederate flag decal displayed on the back window of the cab) drove up to the marchers. It was driving slowly down a street flanked by people dressed in black bloc clothing.

As the crowd parted to clear the way for the truck to move forward, protesters filled the street behind it and started throwing rocks and water bottles at the truck.

The driver suddenly put his vehicle in reverse and accelerated toward the protesters. As he sped up, people jumped out of the street.

The driver continued to drive in reverse for nearly a block, stopping at the next intersection and revving his engine.

The protesters yelled for everyone to clear the street and changed their path to escape the truck, walking down 6th Avenue to Washington Street. At that point, however, the truck re-appeared, cutting the marchers off.

A Vancouver police vehicle pulled up behind he truck, sirens blaring, and the truck stopped after turning left on Washington Street. The man, who could not be immediately identified, was detained at the scene.

Police detaining a man who nearly drove his truck into a crowd of antifa protesters in Vancouver, Wash. (Willy Gagan)
Police detaining a man who nearly drove his truck into a crowd of antifa protesters in Vancouver, Wash. (Willy Gagan)

After the man was handcuffed, a group called the "Proud Boys" drove down Columbia Avenue and sprayed pepper spray out their windows at protesters in the street. The counter-protesters lobbed rocks at their truck.

Police stopped the Proud Boys, but did not detain them. Fifteen minutes later they drove away.

But they didn't get far: Reporters nearby say the Proud Boys crashed into a police vehicle.

The Vancouver Patriot Prayer event had originally been scheduled to be held in Portland, but organizer Joey Gibson changed his mind and moved it across the Columbia River. This afternoon's gathering attracted about 80 Gibson supporters and a crowd of counter-protesters, some of whom drove over after an earlier gathering in Portland at which police arrested seven people.

Correction: This story originally said the driver of the Silverado was arrested. In fact, he was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car but later released without arrest, according to a Vancouver Police spokeswoman. WW regrets the error.