A 20-year-old Bend man has been charged with harassment for allegedly “rolling coal” on people attending a Black Lives Matter rally in May, the Deschutes County District Attorney announced Tuesday.
DA John Hummel said the incident happened on May 30th when Dylan Freville drove his pickup past hundreds of people at a BLM rally.
“On at least two occasions he quickly accelerated his truck as he passed the rally, causing thick plumes of diesel smoke to eject from his truck’s exhaust pipe onto rally attendees, causing them physical discomfort,” Hummel said in a release announcing the charges.
The act is known as “rolling coal” and is illegal in several states and municipalities. Hummel said it’s often done to people riding bicycles, people driving electric cars, and, of late, people attending BLM rallies.
Freville was identified later through photos taken at the time and after he bragged about it in an Instagram post, Hummel said.
The Bend Police Department cited Freville for harassment and Hummel charged him with two counts.
“Perhaps no right in our country is more fundamental than the right of peaceful assembly. Those who disagree with messages being shared by those who assemble, have the right to assemble to share their opposition, but they have no right to resort to violence,” Hummel said. “To the rolling coal practitioners in our community, I say: use your words, not your smoke. If you use your smoke, you’ll be held accountable.”
Freville is scheduled to be arraigned on August 13th.