Update: 3:47 p.m.: At this morning's court date, the bond rates for all five of those arrested near Civic Center Park last night increased, as did the crimes they are associated with. At the moment, all five are currently under investigation for second-degree assault and aggravated robbery. Caryn Sodaro, James Stacey and Michael Seymour face bonds that are now $75,000, while those of Daniel Newman and Kenny White are now at $50,000. The original post is below.
Update, 9:58 a.m.: Last night, as we report in detail below, four Occupy Denver protesters and one homeless man were arrested for suspicion of robbery.
Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson says the investigation began at approximately 7:47 p.m., when three protesters are alleged to have knocked down a skateboarder and taken his board on the 1500 block of Broadway.
During the period that ensued, Jackson says, the man was assaulted and incurred "serious bodily injury" on his face.
Officers were notified of the event when the man broke away and asked an RTD officer nearby to call the police. He then assisted in identifying his alleged attackers. It is currently unknown whether the man is still in the hospital.
Later, police officers were able to recover the man's skateboard inside Civic Center Park, which led to additional arrests. Because of the assault involved in the case, any of the five investigations might lead to aggravated robbery charges, though four of the individuals in question currently face only plain robbery. The decision about charging is up to the Denver District Attorney's office, Jackson says.
Below is the brief initial report: Occupy Denver Robbery Report
Read our previous coverage below.
Original item, 7:07 a.m. March 16: Around 8 p.m. last night, police arrested four Occupy Denver protesters and one local homeless man on charges of robbery.
The cases come with the highest collective bond rates to date: For aggravated robbery, protester James Stacey faces a $50,000 bond, while Caryn Sodaro, Kenny White, Daniel Newman and Michael Seymour face general robbery charges with $10,000 bonds.
All five are expected in courtroom 2300 of the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center at 10 a.m.
Thus far, little of the background story behind the cases has been divulged. According to protester Benjamin Dolon, approximately fifteen police officers visited Civic Center Park and the surrounding area at 8 and left by 8:30 p.m. During that time, they sat White, Newman and Stacey down on the sidewalk before taking them into custody. While doing so, the officers noticed Sodaro's presence at the scene and also removed her from the area. When asked about the charges or case information for the four protesters arrested, the police officers present did not divulge any details.
Sodaro's arrest took place catty-corner from the park -- near the Subway on Colfax, where she was standing on the steps. Protester Tanner Spendley, who was talking with Sodaro at the time, was ordered to move away from her immediately. At that point, point officers approached Sodaro and pulled her into custody.
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Spendley shot the following video of the events:
This is Sodaro's fourth arrest in the past month, and her peers worry she has become a target: At the offshoot "Fuck the Police" march on February 25, Sodaro encountered a jaywalking charge, and she was arrested for walking into the roadway during the group's anti-ALEC march on February 29.
In the past week, Sodaro has also been arrested at Civic Center Park for a Failure to Appear charge that she would have incurred while in legal custody for another case.
Roughly ten minutes after Sodaro's arrest, the approximately 25 protesters who had gathered on the scene were surprised to see Seymour, who is unaffiliated with the movement, arrested near where Sodaro had been. When the group approached, officers holding pepper spray ordered them to step back or risk being sprayed.
This latest action in the park comes at the end of a week in which Public Works and the Denver Police Department announced that they would visit the park regularly to clean it, for health and safety reasons. Dolon estimates that police have visited the area, in one form or another, fifteen times this week.
The evening's events came several hours after roughly 25 police officers gathered at Civic Center Park to arrest an additional five people who distributed marijuana from a bag inside it. According to Occupy Denver officials, the arrestees are not a part of the movement. They have since been released.
And earlier this week, Thunderdome/Occupy Denver protesters Corey Donahue and Patrick Marsden were involved in an altercation with police at the corner of Broadway and 14th, during which both men and James Stacey were taken into custody. Donahue and Mardsen were arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer, while Stacey has been charged with interference. All three have since been released, though Stacey is again in legal custody after last night's arrest.
Check back with Westword for updates on these cases.
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Video: Fox 31's Eli Stokols drops F-bombs on Occupy Denver protesters."