|Paramedics tend to Hayward city employee Jerry Schilling after he was struck|
Tuesday morning by van while picketing. PHOTO/SEIU 1021
The accident occurred around 9 a.m. Tuesday when a man driving a white van attempted to pull into an underground parking garage at Hayward’s City Hall. According to witnesses, the driver, described as an elderly man, turned into the parking lot entrance and struck Jerry Schilling, a 20-year street maintenance leader for the city, in the legs. “As soon as Jerry looked, he hit him. Just pushed him,” said Jose Medina, who has worked in the city’s water treatment department for the last 15 years. Schilling then yelled at the driver, “You hit me!” said Medina, “and the driver moved forward again.”
According to Medina and other witnesses, the driver, yelled “get out of the way” after striking the union member. “This guy had no intention of stopping. He just wanted to bully his way through. It’s just like what the city is trying to do to us—trying to get their way, not negotiating.”
Picketers say there were ready for the possibility of replacement workers hired by the city from a staffing agency in Pleasanton being surreptitiously bused in through the underground parking garage. The driver was seen leaving the parking garage over an hour later. Schilling was taken to the hospital.
Correction: the city confirmed Tuesday afternoon the driver of the van was a resident doing business at City Hall. A police investigation into the accident is ongoing, said the city manager's office.