The New York driver in a viral confrontation with traffic-stopping anti-Israel protesters said he felt like a “hostage” at their hands Monday as they prevented him from crossing a bridge to see his daughter.
Kevin Rivera went viral Monday after video showed him ordering protesters to stop blocking his car as he tried to drive onto the Manhattan Bridge.
He was seen shoving protesters and shouting at them before getting back in his car.
“I have a daughter in Brooklyn,” he shouted at one point, before a group of people carrying bullhorns and wearing bright safety vests relented and let him pass. After the incident, he posted a video of his own to read a heartfelt statement about what happened.
I could not allow those people to impede my passage and in essence, hold me hostage.
“I wish that I had not been captured on video in such an angry state and behaved in such a way, but I could not allow those people to impede my passage and in essence, hold me hostage,” Rivera said in a statement posted to X. “I love this country that I live in. I am blessed to be an American. I say that because we, as citizens of this country, have the right to peacefully protest, so long as we do not break the law, such as disrupting traffic on the roadways.”
More than 100 people were arrested across New York City in the protest stunts that blocked bridges and tunnels in and out of Manhattan, according to the NYPD.
Some of them bound their arms to one another with PVC pipes before sitting down in the middle of the road. NYPD officers had to cut them apart before handcuffing them. Actress Susan Sarandon, whose talent agency recently dropped her as a client over antisemitic remarks, also made an appearance.
The pro-Palestinian protests have become a hindrance for working Americans around the U.S., with demonstrators obstructing traffic in major cities amid a war between Israel and Hamas terrorists who attacked the country on Oct. 7 out of their base in the Gaza Strip.
“I wish that I did not have to resort to the actions that I did, but I had to get home,” Rivera added in his X video.
Rivera ended his video calling for world peace.
“I do not condone any human beings that are being killed in any wars,” he said. “I’m saddened to see the things that go on in this world that we are living in, and pray that there is a true change for global peace. Thank you all. God bless you.”
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace and Pilar Arias contributed to this report.