DA: 3 Occupy Denver activists charged with felonies

Occupy Denver protesters clash with police Wednesday.

Story highlights

  • Denver's district attorney says 3 will face felony charges related to 2 incidents
  • The charges including inciting a riot and assaulting a police officer
  • One had accused police of "attacking us" during demonstrations
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said Thursday that three Occupy Denver activists have been charged with felonies -- including inciting a riot and second-degree assault on an officer.
While Occupy Wall Street protests began in New York two months ago, the movement has spread to several other cities -- as have reports of activists clashing with police. Some of the most high-profile incidents have taken place in Denver, including two tied to the filing of felony charges.
A pair of men who were arrested on Sunday were charged with felonies.
The previous night, police in riot gear arrested 17 people as they cleared furniture and tents from an Occupy encampment near the city's civic center, police spokesman Sonny Jackson told CNN. The main issue, he said, was that the items were blocking a right of way.
On Sunday afternoon, two police officers were injured when protesters became upset when police began removing a food table from a park. Some of the protesters surrounded a police car.
One woman then pushed a Denver police officer, according to an earlier Denver police statement. She and a male who came to her aid were arrested.
The district attorney's office announced Thursday that a 28-year-old man has been charged with two felony counts of inciting a riot and one misdemeanor count of obstruction for allegedly blocking a police car and and telling others to riot. He has two other cases pending from two different dates in October -- unlawful conduct on public property and unlawful sexual contact -- according to the press release.
Another 30-year-old man was charged with a felony count of second-degree assault on a police officer -- as well as misdemeanor charges of obstruction, resisting arrest and engaging in a riot -- from the same day. The district attorney claimed this man grabbed a law enforcement officer from behind and tried to hit him and wrestle him to the ground.
A third man, who is 26 years old, also was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer. That charge stems from an October 29 incident in which the man allegedly tried to use a stick to hit an officer who was trying to arrest him.
That day, demonstrators tried to occupy the Colorado Capitol -- which is not allowed -- and officers pushed them back, police spokesman Matt Murray said at the time. Pepper spray and pepper-ball guns were used against demonstrators.
The man charged, Sean Drigger, told CNN affiliate KUSA soon after the incident, "All we're trying to do is have a peaceful protest and (the police) are attacking us."