The case against a driver who struck a protester with his car last October was dismissed by a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge Monday morning because the victim could not stay in court all day.
A spokesman for the Multnomah County District Attorney's office says the struck protester, Arthuray Dudley, met with a prosecutor on the morning the trial was set to begin and said he could not stay in court all day "because he had conflicting child care issues."
The District Attorney's office offered to contact CourtCare, a program that cares for children under 11 years old, to help provide child care. But Dudley told the court he couldn't stay.
"We believed that based on the video evidence, and with the victim's testimony, the state could have proven the charges against Mr. Dickerson," MCDA spokesman Brent Weisberg said in a statement shared with WW. "But with regard to the harassment charge, given the facts of this particular case, the court granted a defense motion to dismiss the charges after the victim, Mr. Arthuray Dudley, informed the court that he would be unavailable to testify."
Weisberg says Dudley's testimony was critical for the state's case.
Judge Kenneth R. Walker dismissed the case rather than delaying the trial.
"While in court, the judge explained that Mr. Dudley needed to be present all day or else the case could not proceed and that the court would not reset the matter," Weisberg says. "After some time, Mr. Dudley informed the court he would not be available. The defense counsel made a motion to dismiss, and the court granted it."
Prosecutors had charged Mark Alan Dickerson with reckless driving and harassment after Dickerson allegedly struck Dudley, who was protesting a grand jury decision not to indict the police officers who shot and killed Patrick Kimmons, a black man who shot two other men in a downtown parking lot last September.
The slow-motion collision was caught on video. A similar incident, several weeks later, led to vitriolic coverage on Fox News and a Patriot Prayer march that devolved into a riot after crossing paths with another group protesting the Kimmons shooting.