Man who drove into protesters doing well in therapy, court finds

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who drove into a crowd of protesters in downtown Bakersfield is “doing well” after being placed in a mental health diversion program, a judge said Friday.

Reviewing a report prepared by Kern Behavioral Health, Judge Michael G. Bush said it described Michael Tran as actively engaged in his therapy sessions and noted he has met every requirement of the program. Bush told Tran to keep up the good work.

“As long as you’re doing well, Mr. Tran, you’ll remain in the program,” Bush said.

The criminal case against Tran was suspended last month after he was evaluated by Kern Behavioral Health’s Adult Transition Team and found eligible for the diversion program. He must comply with the terms of mental health providers and stay out of legal trouble during the two-year diversion term in order for the case to be dropped.

Police said Tran, 31 at the time, drove a Toyota RAV4 into people protesting the death of George Floyd on May 29 in a chaotic scene captured on surveillance and cellphone cameras. No serious injuries were reported.

Tran’s family told police he stopped taking his medication for mental health issues and his behavior had changed in recent months.

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