Kyle police confirm responding to reports of ‘vehicle contact’ related to Trump supporters surrounding Biden bus on I-35

Texas

Central Texas (KXAN) — Supporters of President Donald Trump allegedly harassed a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris bus as it traveled through Central Texas on Friday, according to local Democratic activists.

Videos and photos posted on social media show a long line of vehicles flying Trump flags trailing the Biden-Harris bus as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin on I-35. In some images, the bus appears to be boxed in by the vehicles. President Donald Trump also tweeted what appeared to be video of the caravan surrounding the the bus saying, “I LOVE TEXAS!”

Some members of the Texas Democrats’ campaign say that a Biden-Harris staffer’s car was hit during the incident.

Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, tweeted that Trump supporters followed the bus in an attempt to intimidate Biden voters.

“They ran into a person’s car, yelling curse words and threats. Don’t let bullies win, vote,” she added.

The Kyle Police Department confirmed in a statement to KXAN they received reports around 4 p.m. Friday that indicated two or more vehicles may have made contact while traveling north on Interstate 35. Officers responded to the area but no vehicles stopped to share information with them.

“Members of what is believed to be a campaign bus for Kamala Harris as well as following vehicles with campaign staffers advised the Kyle Police Department via telephone that they did not intend to stop, so Kyle Police obtained contact information so contact could be made at a later time,” the emailed statement continued. It went on to say that the “vehicle contact” happened in San Marcos and that all involved parties are being referred to the San Marcos Police Department if they want to file a police report.

San Marcos police said the Biden-Harris bus requested a police escort, but due to excessive traffic officers were not able to catch the bus before it left the jurisdiction.

The police department also said it has researched the crash and watched online video. It said the “at-fault vehicle” may be the Biden-Harris staffer’s car, while the “victim” appears to be one of the Trump vehicles.

“The at-fault vehicle may be the white SUV and the victim appears to be the black truck,” a statement from SMPD reads.

“Calls to the driver of the white SUV have gone unanswered and SMPD has not been contacted by the driver of the black truck. Since SMPD has not spoken to either driver at this time, additional investigation would be required to fully ascertain who was at fault.”

A spokeswoman with the FBI told KXAN they would have a statement as early as noon Sunday.

KXAN’s media partner, The Texas Tribune, reported that the FBI was looking into the alleged incident. They reached out to the Texas Republican Party with questions regarding the incident.

“Where is the liberal corporate media’s concern about that real violence?” a statement from Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West said in part. “It is more fake news and propaganda. Prepare to lose…stop bothering me.”

As a result of the incident, campaign events in Austin and Pflugerville were canceled.

The Texas Democratic Party said that some of the vehicles pulled in front of the bus and slowed down to try to bring it to a stop on the highway. It also confirmed law enforcement responded to the incident and helped the bus reach its destination. However, the campaign then decided to cancel an event at the Texas AFL-CIO parking lot in Austin later that day.

In a Twitter thread, historian Eric Cervini, who said he traveled to Texas to help the Biden-Harris campaign, said the Trump supporters waited on I-35 to “ambush” the bus.

Rep. Sheryl Cole, the incumbent candidate for District 46, wrote on Facebook that a campaign event had to be canceled after the incident.

“This is a first for me, but we unfortunately just had to cancel the joint campaign event in Pflugerville due to security reasons,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, Pro-Trump protesters have escalated things well beyond safe limits, and we cannot risk the safety and security of anyone involved.”

“Sorry to all who looked forward to this fun event and now have to miss out,” she added.

“This aggressive, abusive conduct by his supporters results from Trump continuing to incite acts of intimidation and violence,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett. “As Republican lawyers use Republican-dominated courts to diminish voting, this is only another, more outrageous form of voter suppression. Those who fear their party is about to lose Texas resort to such desperate tactics. We have to stand up to these bullies just as we seek to protect the right of every last Texan to vote out the Bully-in-Chief.”

Tariq Thowfeek, Biden for President Texas communications director, said in a statement that Trump supporters put “our staff, surrogates, supporters and others in harm’s way.”

“To the Texans who disrupted our events: We’ll see you on November 3rd,” he added.

KXAN has contacted the Texas GOP and will update this story when they respond.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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