More 'Occupy Tampa' protestors arrested early today
TAMPA - Three Occupy Tampa protestors were arrested this morning for sleeping in a public park. Stephanie Cannon, 25, Fitzgerald Scott, 40, and Ryan Bee, 25, each have been charged with trespassing and resisting arrest without violence, Tampa police said. A marijuana pipe was found on Bee, who also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, police said. The trio had set up bedding in Kiley Garden Park near Malio's Prime Steakhouse, 400 N. Ashley St., police said. The park is a few feet away from where Occupy Tampa has set up an information desk at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.The protestors were given repeated warnings to remove the bedding and leave the park, police said. They were arrested at 1:49 a.m. today. The city has allowed Occupy Tampa participants to sleep on a sidewalk along Ashley Drive, but not in public parks. People sleeping overnight have to get up and collect their belongings by 6 a.m. On Sunday, four protestors were arrested for sleeping in Kiley Garden. Kevin Flynn, 32, Alicia Dion, 24, Katie Christofilis, 23, and Seth Collins, 20, each were charged with trespassing and resisting arrest without violence. When they were asked to leave the park at 12:05 a.m. on Sunday, they refused, sat down and planted a flag in the ground, according to an arrest report. Their fellow protestors began chanting and filming the scene with cameras and cell phones, police said. On Tuesday, Occupy Tampa posted a video on YouTube showing four protestors sleeping in Kiley Park Gardens overnight. Near them was a sign that said, "This is our park." In an email to The Tampa Tribune on Tuesday, protestors wrote that Occupy Tampa scored a "victory" against police when the "four members successfully camped out overnight without arrest at Kiley Garden Park." For 33 days, the group has been speaking out against corporate bailouts, major banking companies, soaring unemployment, government debt, a shrinking middle class and other issues. Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest group, which is camping out in New York City's financial district, Occupy Tampa participants first gathered at Lykes Gaslight Square downtown then moved around the block to the waterfront park on Ashley Drive.
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