A woman in a Hennepin Avenue parking lot in downtown Minneapolis was run over on purpose and dragged over the weekend by a driver who was jailed after leaving the victim with a litany of broken bones and damaged vital organs.
Miera L. Horton, 26, of Minneapolis, was struck by a car about 1 a.m. Saturday in the 500 block of Hennepin Avenue, police said. Horton was at Hennepin County Medical Center and in critical condition Monday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Jailed on suspicion of assault with a dangerous weapon was Vanessa Uzong, 24, of Brooklyn Park. Police say Uzong admitted to police officers at the scene that she was the driver. She has yet to be charged.
Two witnesses told police that Uzong aimed her car “right at [Horton] and veered toward” the victim even as she tried to get out of harm’s way. Horton was “struck … and dragged,” according to a police report. Uzong also rammed a vehicle from behind, the report read.
The incident grew out of an “alleged previous altercation,” said police spokesman John Elder, who declined to say more ahead of charges expected this week.
A relative of the defendant said the clash began moments before Horton was run over in the parking lot and pitted Uzong, who was downtown with others, and three other people.
That conflict left Uzong with a bloodied mouth and a tooth missing, said the relative, who requested not to be identified out of concern for her safety and others in the family.
“She was not in a normal state of mind after” the altercation, said the relative, who added that she had spoken briefly with Uzong and others who were there. “She was in a state of shock.”
Shortly before Horton was run over and in the next block north on Hennepin, a 32-year-old woman was shot and killed inside Augie’s Cabaret. The alleged shooter surrendered later Saturday.
While police say the shooting and the parking lot dispute are not related, Horton’s mother, Demellon, said all of the women who clashed outside had been patronizing Augie’s until the club was cleared after the shooting.
Once passions intensified in the parking lot for reasons that were still unlclear, “the one girl got in the car, and they all jumped in the car,” the mother said, having spoken with a friend who was with her daughter.
The driver “hit on the gas, and instead of going straight,” ran over Miera Horton, her mother continued.
Speaking from the hospital, Demellon Horton said her daughter is “still out of it” but has “opened her eyes and wiggled her toes” when instructed by nurses.
Otherwise, she has a lacerated liver and a punctured lung along with broken ribs, pelvis and limbs, Demellon Horton added.