The loved ones of a recently deceased man have described how they feared for their lives when a woman disrupted a funeral she had been told she could not attend, by driving dangerously through the cemetery and allegedly trying to run over mourners.
Blair Whitten, 28, was charged with reckless endangerment after the service for her ex-boyfriend, Colin MacDonald, at Riverside Cemetery in Fargo, North Dakota, on May 1.
According to Valley News Live, Whitten had been told to stay away from the funeral after she posted social media messages claiming that she had killed the 24-year-old MacDonald, who died in his sleep on April 24 following complications from a minor surgery. She also wrote, "DEAD PEDOPHILE 666 thank the powers that be thank ME," on a post about the details for the service.
MacDonald's loved ones also claim Whitten had been threatening them for the past five years.
"She knew she wasn't welcome and what she did instead of leaving peacefully was try to run somebody over and run somebody else over, which was me," Gericka Charbonneau, MacDonald's girlfriend, told Valley News Live.
"There were elderly, there were children, there were people here who weren't even here for Colin's funeral. They were here for their own people and they didn't know what was going on," Charbonneau added. "I was afraid for my life."
MacDonald's mother, Joan McIntyre, added: "All of a sudden I heard someone screaming and yelling. So, I came out of the tent to find a car taking off at about 50 miles an hour and people screaming, 'She just ran me over!'"
Charbonneau said she had alerted Fargo Police about the alleged threats from Whitten before the funeral, but had been told the department does not provide private security.
At the service on May 1, Whitten began driving her vehicle "in a manner with extreme indifference for human life which created substantial risk of serious bodily injury to persons in the cemetery," according to police spokeswoman Jessica Schindeldecker.
One witness said he approached Whitten in her SUV and asked her to leave, but she accelerated towards him, forcing him to jump out of the way.
Whitten, from Barnesville, Minnesota, has pleaded not guilty to the charge against her and is due to appear in court in July.
Paying tribute to her son, McIntyre said: "I'm gonna miss that I'm not going to see his smiling face and his eyes again.
"If I could have switched places with him so that he and Gericka could have had a full life together, I would have done it in an instant."
Charbonneau added: "He was my purpose. He made me so happy."
Newsweek has contacted Fargo Police for comment.