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Occupier charged with felony in court

3:53 PM, Nov 7, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Protestors chant less than an hour before Woodruff Park closes

Video: Moments before the park closes

Video: Protestors at Woodruff Park

Video: Protestors take down APD motorcycle officer live on 11Alive

Video: Occupy Atlanta protestors take to Peachtree Street Downtown

Video: Protestors exiting the park

Video: Several protestors arrested by police at Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue

  • Brandon Wojcik-Tremblay, an Occupy Atlanta protestor, faces felony charges of aggravated assault and obstruction.
  • Occupy Atlanta protestors appeared in court on Sunday.
    

ATLANTA -- 24 year old Brandon Wojcik-Tremblay faced a judge in the Fulton County jail Monday morning on felony charges of aggravated assault and obstructiing a law enforcement officer.

Police say he grabbed the steering bar of an officer's motorcycle late Saturday night after Occupy Atlanta Protesters took to the streets around Woodruff Park.

Tremblay's attorney,  Marcia Fuller, told the judge it is "a gross misunderstanding of the facts" and "a case of wrongful identification."

The vast majority of protestors arrested over the weekend were charged with obstructing traffic after their demonstration moved from Woodruff Park to Peachtree Street just after 11 p.m. Saturday.

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Members of Occupy Atlanta posted video of the confrontation on YouTube. They claim the officer tried to run over several protestors.

"It was excessive force, and there was really no need for it," said Lauren Reynolds, a member of Occupy Atlanta. "We are a peaceful protest and will continue to be a peaceful protest."

11Alive News reporter Duffie Dixon also witnessed the incident. She was standing just a few feet away when it happened. Dixon said the officer was making his way through the crowd slowly with his lights and siren running, when protestors surrounded him.  Two indivduals pushed the motocycle from the front.  Others jumped on the back with the officer still on it and the bike fell over onto the officer.  He was not seriously hurt.

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Others arrested Saturday night included Creative Loafing photographer Stephanie Pharr and a KSU student reporter.

"Mayor Reed was clear earlier this week in his public statements that the City of Atlanta would arrest any persons who violated the law," Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said in a statement. "Our officers professionally and efficiently made arrests as authorized by state laws and city ordinances."

Eight of those arrested are college students pursuing bachelor's or master's degrees. Two of them attend Georgia State University and claim they were not part of the protest but got caught up in the commotion.

"Almost all of them were arrested for obstructing traffic on Peachtree Street, which was only police cars, because police obstructed pedestrian traffic by cutting it off," said defense attorney Brooks Franklin. 

Most of those arrested over the weekend have no criminal record, but one was arrested during Occupy Atlanta's first confrontation with police almost two weeks ago.

Judge Andrew Mickle said he will revoke the bond of anyone who tries to re-occupy Atlanta.

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On Oct. 26, Atlanta Police arrested more than 50 people accused of violating a city ordinance by staying in the park after closing time.

Mayor Kasim Reed initially issued an executive order allowing Occupy Atlanta protestors to stay in the park overnight, but later revoked it after citing increasing security concerns.

Protesters first began camping out in Woodruff Park on Oct. 7.

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