WASHINGTON - Witness accounts describe a chaotic scene before a driver smashed his vehicle into a barrier at the Washington Monument on Saturday.
On Sunday, U.S. Park Police charged Jack Joseph Dessin, 38, assault with a dangerous weapon (automobile) and destruction of government property after the incident Saturday evening.
According to documents, witnesses told police that, at the scene, Dessin had told them "he was dying and the government was trying to kill him."
After he was taken to George Washington Hospital for treatment, Dessin reportedly made similar comments to police, telling them the FBI had been watching him, and "that they should have known." He also said police and fire officials had been following him that day and wanted to know why they hadn’t picked him up.
Witness accounts from the scene confirmed similar stories people told FOX 5 on Saturday.
Multiple witnesses told police that Dessin drove his vehicle up onto the grassy area around the monument, and targeted pedestrians who were walking there.
In court documents, at least one victim told police that they needed help from a relative to scramble up over stone wall to escape the oncoming Ford Explorer.
At least two witnesses confirmed the victim’s account.
On Saturday evening, a witness shared his experience online, saying the Ford Explorer sent crowds scrambling out of its way before crashing.