Miami Police arrested
at least two three Occupy Miami members today during a May Day protest downtown. Brian Tangherlini, 22, and Rolando Prieto, 23, were arrested after ignoring orders to get out of the street, according to a police report. Tangherlini was wrestled to the ground by several officers and allegedly kicked one of them in the ribs. Prieto, meanwhile, was locked-up after telling cops: "I'm not moving from the road. I'm a tax payer."
Occupy Miami member Kevin Young said that cops provoked the scuffle with Tangherlin by driving dangerously close to protesters. Young also claimed that Tangherlin suffered a broken arm during the arrest and that a third protester was punched in the face and arrested for filming the incident.
UPDATE: A Miami PD spokeswoman says that protester Alfredo Quintana was, in fact, also arrested and is being charged with three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer and one count of resisting arrest.
Tangherlini has been charged with obstructing a public right of way and resisting arrest with violence. Prieto has been charged with the same obstruction charge (a misdemeanor) and inciting a riot for allegedly calling for the crowd to protest in the middle of the street.
New Times reached Young on his cell phone while he was still downtown after the protest. He said the protesters were walking back towards downtown from Brickell when an altercation broke out at the rear of the march.
"What I saw was two police officers pounding on a kid that couldn't have been more than 130 pounds," he said. (Tangherlini's arrest form lists him as 5'8" and 145 lbs.) "Yeah, I saw him struggling on the ground but he had four people on top of him. To try to wiggle free is human nature."
Young claimed that when another protester, Alfredo Quintana, tried to film Tangherlin's arrest, a police officer punched Quintana in the face.
"The cop just swung and clocked him in the face," Young said. "He was assaulted while trying to film the incident."
Young said that Quintana was then arrested as well,
although police have yet to confirm the arrest. "I guess they wanted to see what's on that recording that he took," Young said.
The Occupy Miami said protesters did not retaliate towards police. He added that prior to the arrests, the march -- to celebrate International Workers Day and protest both cuts at Jackson Memorial Hospital and corporate greed -- was going well.
"No one broke any windows or anything during the entire march," Young said. "Which, for a bunch of anarchists, is pretty good."
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