Woman Who Drove Pickup Truck Through Buffalo Protesters Charged by State

BUFFALO, NY – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 25-year-old Joanna Gollnau of Buffalo has been arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Diane Wray on one count of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, a Class “D” felony, and one count of Reckless Driving, an unclassified misdemeanor.

According to a video posted to Twitter, Gollnau drove her truck through protesters blocking the road and threatening other motorists.  At the time, the protesters were chanting, “Racist, Go home!”

After driving through the crowd, protesters began to tell each other to get out of the road they were previously blocking.

It is alleged that on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at approximately 8:45 p.m., the defendant recklessly drove a pickup truck through Niagara Square during a demonstration in front of City Hall. She is accused of hitting a woman who was seated on a bicycle. The bicyclist was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Gollnau is scheduled to return on Monday, January 4, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. for further proceedings. She was released on her own recognizance.

If convicted on all charges, Gollnau faces a maximum of 7 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.