Driver Says He’s Unfazed after Limo Set Ablaze in Friday DC Protest

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A longtime limo driver whose luxury car was torched during Friday’s anti-Donald Trump protests in Washington says he’s ready to get back to work.

Luis Villarroel had parked his limo on K Street after dropping off a client when he heard a loud noise.

“There were these boys who had covered their faces with masks” who had surrounded the car, Villarroel told CNN Saturday. A woman signaled to him to get out of the limo, and by the time Villarroel exited, “they were already hammering my car.”

As he moved away, people were throwing things at him, including a sandwich. Someone set a small fire inside the limo, causing Villarroel to rush back to the car to stomp it out.

Police then arrived at the scene and told Villarroel to leave, saying the situation was getting dangerous. The company for which he works, Nationwide Chauffeured Services, sent another car to pick him and his client up.

Soon after, protesters set another fire to the limo, which quickly spread to the rest of the vehicle, engulfing it in flames.

Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for DC Fire, told CNN he was unable to provide further details about the incident.

Majid Rafique, a spokesman for the chauffeur company, said it was not clear how much it was going to cost the company to replace the limo, saying he was waiting for the insurance company’s assessment.

Villarroel, who has driven a limo for 25 years, only suffered a minor cut on his finger during the incident but was otherwise unharmed. By Saturday, he was back at work, driving a bus for the company.

“These things don’t scare me,” he said.

Six police officers were injured and 217 protesters were arrested throughout the day Friday after a morning of peaceful protests and coordinated disruptions of Trump’s inauguration ceremony gave way to ugly street clashes in downtown Washington.

Anti-Trump protests also broke out Friday in US cities, including New York, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago and Portland, Oregon. Authorities in Seattle say one person was in critical condition at a hospital with a gunshot wound. Demonstrations also took place overseas in Hong Kong, Berlin and London.

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