5 arrested in Occupy Pittsburgh protest identified
November 16, 2011 5:00 AM
Protesters from Occupy Pittsburgh march from their camp at Mellon Green to the Developing Unconventional Gas East conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Tuesday.
Sadie Gurman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The five people arrested Tuesday evening at an Occupy Pittsburgh protest Downtown outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center have been publicly identified.
Charged with crimes including defiant trespass, failure to disperse and obstruction of roadways were: Taylor Christian Hall, 22; Ryan Kelly, 21; Damon Lythos, 20, Jesse Ondrusek, 25, and Dane Tyler Kata, 24.
Mr. Hall was held in the Allegheny County Jail on 10 percent of $5,000 bond, which court records show he posted. The others were released on their own recognizance or given nonmonetary bonds.
The arrests are the first during an event organized by Occupy Pittsburgh, a local spinoff of Occupy Wall Street, whose supporters spent almost two months camped out in Zuccotti Park in New York City before they were evicted Tuesday. The groups protest corporate greed and influence on government.
About 200 Occupy Pittsburgh supporters gathered at Mellon Green, Downtown, where protesters have been camped out for about a month. They marched toward the convention center, where a Developing Unconventional Gas convention was taking place. The arrests happened between 6 and 6:30 p.m.
Police officers said they saw many members of the group running into the street at the onset of the march, disrupting traffic. As the crowd moved toward Sixth and Liberty avenues, officers said they ordered the protesters onto the sidewalk to no avail.
Police said the group did not have permission to be at the convention center, which is private property.
Employees there "believed that this group was a direct security risk to conference attendees and requested their removal," prompting Pittsburgh police Lt. Robert Roth to give dispersal orders from a loud speaker, according to a criminal complaint.
After the third order, police said, the lieutenant stood in front of the crowd and told them to move onto public property.
The few who did not were arrested, the complaint says.
Edie Ondrusek, of Center, Beaver County, said she and her son traveled to join the demonstration. She said her son was helping to carry a banner when police told them to leave. Her son attempted to turn around and leave when he was arrested, she said.
The conference resumes today at the convention center.