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Occupy Tampa protester released from jail after Saturday arrest

TAMPA — An Occupy Tampa protester accused of trespassing in Curtis Hixon Park over the weekend was released from jail after a first appearance in court Monday.

Chris Villanueva, 55, spent two days in jail after he was arrested around 3 p.m. Saturday. He became the 12th protester arrested since the Occupy Tampa demonstration began three weeks ago.

Police said Villanueva "attempted to sleep" in the park on the ground near the restrooms and refused to leave after he was asked to do so by a park security officer.

Defense attorney Roger Breit said Villanueva is diabetic and was "resting, not sleeping" in the park.

According to a police report, Villanueva refused medical attention at the time of his arrest.

Protesters have accused police of unfairly targeting them to force them to vacate the park. But police have said they only want to protect the rights of those who live and work in the city.

Occupy Tampa protester released from jail after Saturday arrest 10/31/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 31, 2011 3:31pm]
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