Three arrested at Occupy Tampa Wednesday night

11/17/11 Josh Holton
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There were three more arrests late last night at Occupy Tampa. One was skateboarding in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park after hours, and was arrested for trespassing. Two more people were arrested while trying to document the arrest.

This is the second time Ryan Bee has been arrested for trespassing. The last time he was arrested for attempting to occupy Kiley Garden he was caught with drug paraphernalia, which Occupy Tampa has strictly banned. So no one in the group has offered to bail him out this time. When Joseph “Felix” Perry heard of Bee’s arrest, he ran down the driveway to the adjacent parking garage to find out more.

The Tampa Police say that while Officer Bucher was completing paperwork for Bee, Perry entered Curtis Hixon Park to videotape. Perry said he was standing in the street, not the park, where he had already been given a trespass warning. A group of protesters surrounded Bucher’s car. From inside the police vehicle, Perry witnessed the arrest of a protester named Ashley Perry, who is not related.

Police say Officer Stead came to assist Bucher, and arrested Ashley Perry after warning her to get out of the street. She has refused bail, choosing to take her case before a judge. Felix Perry claims the personal video footage of his own arrest is evidence of his innocence.

Felix Perry said there have been times in the past when individuals who have posted bail for Occupy Tampa members have asked for, and have been granted, reimbursement from the group’s funds. But he said he’ll pay for his own bail.

There have been a total of 29 arrests since Occupy Tampa began continuously occupying a public sidewalk five weeks ago. Perry said the group could consider filing additional complaints with the Tampa Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

Perry said that the detective he spoke with contends that the driveway to the parking garage beside Curtis Hixon Park is part of park property, and that his arrest was legitimate. Occupy Tampa planned a march in solidarity with unions that began at 4 o’clock afternoon Thursday.

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