Five Occupy L.A. Demonstrators Arrested
Five Occupy L.A. demonstrators were charged Tuesday with crimes of lewd conduct, battery, and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the City Attorney Office.
The 500 tents and demonstrations on the City Hall lawn cannot continue indefinitely, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reiterated.
City officials have started to negotiate with demonstrators in the hopes that they will vacate the lawn, but police are currently working on a timeline to break up the encampment.
"We are following how other cities across the nation are dealing with the various Occupy protests, recognizing that each city has unique challenges and circumstances. In L.A. we continue an ongoing dialogue with the protesters, including a previously scheduled meeting today between LAPD and Occupy L.A. protesters," said Peter Sanders, a mayoral spokesman.
The County Health Department will continue to monitor the encampment, and has issued some notices of violation for minor problems in the past week. But there haven't been any serious incidents, said Sanders.
The City Attorney Office made the charges public just hours after New York City police began arresting demonstrators in Lower Manhattan.
Farid Ahntab, 24, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and other related charges. He is accused of brandishing a knife at an officer and trying to set a food vendor on fire. Ahntab is set to be arraigned tomorrow.
Robert Holland Jr., 31, was charged with brandishing a knife and resisting arrest.
Angele Chaidez, 21, was charged with lewd conduct for allegedly exposing himself, and masturbating on the steps of City Hall.
Zachary Isaac, 21, allegedly went into someone's tent punched a woman in the face. He has been charged with battery.
Michael Howard Thomson, 51, was charged with two counts of battery and one count of resisting arrest for trying to grab a 2-year-old from its parent. Thomson is also accused of punching a mediator, and resisting arrest.
The City News Service contributed reporting to this story.