Six Arrested in Aitkin County
On Thursday, August 26th at approximately 5:45 am, Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a group of protesters at the Swatara Pump Station. Preliminary information received is that there was a person suspected in a tripod device with several people locked down to the device.
Upon arrival, law enforcement personnel were advised that the protesters had been asked to leave and refused to do so. They were advised that they were trespassing on private property and they still refused to leave.
Additional law enforcement units were summonsed along with a bucket truck and extrication teams.
The tripod structure had three levels. At the base, four people were secured to the structure. On the middle level, two additional people were secured to a device that was part of the structure. Medics were on scene to address the well-being of the protesters and law enforcement.
The four people at the base were advised they were under arrest. They refused to release themselves from locking mechanisms that secured them to the structure and each other. They were freed from the structure by the use of cutting tools. The arrested parties would scream that they were being injured. This would set off the people in the street who would then scream at law enforcement. No force was used against these individuals.
Sheriff Guida had requested a bucket truck to come to the scene to aid in safely removing the people elevated on the structure. Once law enforcement got up to the last two persons in the structure, approximately 20 feet up, they refused the offer to climb down on their own. The two actively refused to follow commands while they were being rescued from that height.
Law enforcement professionals were able to get the two unsecured and placed in the bucket truck and lowered to safety. They were arrested.
In all, six people were arrested and subsequently booked into the Aitkin County Adult Detention Center and held on probable cause holds. Two of the six were male with the remaining four were women. None of the six arrested people live in Minnesota or Wisconsin.
No force was used in the apprehension of any of the arrested parties.