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Homeless advocate Bruce Wright arrested in police confrontation

ST. PETERSBURG — One of the city's frequent critics and homeless advocates was arrested Wednesday afternoon after police said he interfered with officers trying to arrest a man at William's Park.

The Rev. Bruce Wright, 51, was taken to the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of obstruction.

Officers were at the park shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday to arrest a man who had an active warrant, according to an arrest report. Wright approached the officers and yelled at them as they made the arrest.

"Stop harassing that man," the report quoted Wright saying. "What did he do wrong?"

Wright then pulled out a cellphone and continued to yell, ignoring warnings from the officers to step back, the report said. The officers warned Wright to back away four more times before they moved to put him in handcuffs.

Upon being told he was going to jail, Wright braced his body, pulled away from the officers and tried to run, police said. He continued to try to fight after the officers wrestled him to the ground and handcuffed him.

During the struggle, the man that police were originally trying to arrest was able to run away, police said. It was unclear what charges he faced in connection with the warrant.

Wright has been a fixture downtown for years. He has spoken out against the way the city treats homeless people and police methods of dealing with the population.

Homeless advocate Bruce Wright arrested in police confrontation 03/27/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:55pm]
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