Over the last few years, there has been a sharp uptake in the number of motor vehicle attacks in the United States. NPR reported that at least 50 reported vehicular attacks where a car was turned into a weapon. In half of the attacks taking place from May to June, the motive behind the attacks was unknown.
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Yahoo News reports that such an incident happened in Anaheim on Thursday when the driver of a Lexus SUV purposefully backed his vehicle into the hotel, knocking a hole into the stucco wall. The driver then fled the scene.
In a statement, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said the incident happened at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Lodge Hotel located on South Beach Boulevard. The driver had been targeting one of three people injured in the crash.
One of those injured was a hotel clerk who was in his office when the vehicle came through the wall.
Hotel cook Dipa Ahir, the hotel clerk’s wife, came into her husband’s office to see him lying on the floor and a woman pinned against the wall.
Ahir was in shock and told reports that she couldn’t believe that such a thing would happen.
“It was really scary,” she said. Ahir told police that neither she nor her husband had ever seen the vehicle before.
All three people were transported to the hospital. The hotel clerk suffered a broken leg, chest injuries and minor scratches. The current condition of the two other injured people was not released.
Hotel workers managed to patch the hole left by the crash. Authorities say that the building did not suffer any structural damage, so the hole should be repaired by the end of the week.
Sgt Carringer told reporters that investigators believe the incident was an assault with a deadly weapon.
“A hit-and-run would be an accident,” Carringer said. “The action of the crash would be not intentional. This was intentional.”
Authorities say the relationship between the driver and those he attacked is unknown, nor have they determined a motive for the attack.
Anaheim Police are still searching for the driver.