A Lemoore Police Chaplain's cross-country trip to raise awareness about mental health in law enforcement was supposed to start with a procession from Lemoore to Hanford on Wednesday afternoon.
But Crystal Giles, the widow of a Lemoore officer who took his own life last fall, says it never happened - because of Lemoore City Councilmember Holly Blair.
Giles, her children, and members from a few local law enforcement agencies were in Lemoore Police Department's rear parking lot getting ready to start the procession, when police say Blair drove in, nearly hitting several people.
Giles says Blair barreled inside, coming within inches of hitting her 9-year-old daughter.
"She has asked me a couple of times 'Mommy, why did the lady try and hit me?'" Giles said. "'Mommy, am I ok?' 'Was she there to hurt officers?'"
After leaving the lot, police say they chased Blair until she stopped at a busy Lemoore intersection, eventually pulling her from her SUV. Her son was also inside.
Blair's attorney Marguerite Melo says her client appeared to be catatonic when taken into custody and believes a medical situation may have started back at the Lemoore Police parking lot.
Before the incident, she says Blair had been under immense stress.
"She's someone who has very close ties to the community," Melo said. "She's well-respected. She's a councilwoman. She has no prior criminal history, never has done anything wrong in the past. We think this was a medical emergency that took place, and perhaps folks overreacted over it."
But for Giles, Blair's actions did more than merely disrupt a meaningful event.
Had Blair entered the lot seconds earlier, she believes people would have been hit and injured.
She says regardless of Blair's condition at the time, she needs to face the consequences.
"You have hurt and now traumatized my 9-year-old more than she's already been traumatized as it is," Giles said. "I'm thankful that Jon was looking out for us, all the officers and everybody that day."
Since Blair is out on bail, the Kings County District Attorney's Office has more time to bring charges against her if that's what they decide to do.
Her attorney says she hasn't received the police reports yet, and may not get them until she is charged.
She says Blair is resting with family, and not ready to talk to reporters yet.
9-year-old girl among those nearly struck by Lemoore Councilmember Holly Blair's car
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