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REPORT: Man accused of driving through crowd of protesters previously arrested for assault with a deadly weapon

Michael Tran Striking Protesters
Posted at 6:05 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 21:05:16-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Michael Tran, the man accused of driving through a crowd of protesters and injuring a 15-year-old girl, was on probation after he assaulted a man with a tire iron in 2018, according to court documents.

Court documents said that on June 13, 2018, Tran was visiting a local doughnut shop with his daughter when he challenged another man to a fight. The victim told officers that Tran's daughter held the door open for him, and when he thanked her Tran told him "not to talk to his daughter."

The victim told officers he tried to explain to Tran he was only thanking her for opening the door for him when Tran challenged the victim to a fight, the documents said.

The documents said that Tran approached the victim in a "fighting position." The victim said he grabbed Tran's hand, at which point Tran "punched him in the face."

During the altercation, court documents said Tran left repeatedly only to return moments later. At one point, Tran returned with a tire iron and began to beat the victim, according to the documents. The documents also stated Tran reentered the doughnut shop and began throwing beverages from the shop's refrigerator.

The victim told officers he did not want to seek medical attention, but officers noted his injuries included a laceration approximately five inches on his left forearm, a small cut on his left lower lip, several scratches on his lip and the back of his neck, a scratch approximately six inches on the upper right portion of his back, and pain in the back of his head and lower back where he'd been struck by the tire iron, documents said.

Witnesses at the scene picked Tran out of a photo lineup and told officers that Tran appeared to be the "aggressor."

The documents said that when officers arrested Tran, he agreed to have them retrieve the tire iron from his vehicle. Officers said during their interview with Tran, he said he began the fight because the man “discriminated against him by looking at him” and told officers he was a “satanist” and did not like “jews.”

Tran was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, child neglect, burglary and battery.

According to court records, Tran was sentenced to 90 days in jail and was also granted three years probation.

After being caught on video by several protesters driving through the crowd on May 29, Tran, 31, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Tran is due in court on Tuesday to be arraigned for violating his probation.