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Police: Three Occupy Tampa protesters charged after sleeping in park

TAMPA — Three Occupy Tampa protesters were arrested early Wednesday after refusing to leave Kiley Garden next to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

It's the third time this week such arrests have taken place. Police say the protesters cannot sleep in city parks.

At about 1:30 a.m., officers warned demonstrators to leave several times. When they didn't, police arrested them, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

Stephanie Cannon, 25, Fitzgerald Scott, 40, and Ryan Bee, 25, were charged with trespassing.

Scott was also charged with obstructing or opposing an officer without violence, and Bee was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say he had a marijuana pipe.

Wednesday was Scott's second arrest in connection with Occupy Tampa. He and five others were charged with obstructing a sidewalk on Oct. 21.

Early Sunday and Monday, eight people were arrested after refusing to leave Kiley Garden.

According to a "press statement" from Occupy Tampa's Facebook page, some protesters feel that continuing to challenge the police "will lead to something like the city and police changing their minds." Others in the movement felt they might be fighting the wrong battle, it states.

Police: Three Occupy Tampa protesters charged after sleeping in park 11/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:32pm]
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