TAMPA — Four Occupy Tampa protesters were arrested early Monday after refusing to leave Kiley Garden next to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
The arrests took place at 12:05 a.m. Monday after officers asked the demonstrators to leave the park numerous times. Protesters refused, sat down and planted a flag in the ground, police said, as other protesters chanted and shot video of the incident.
Kevin A. Flynn, 32, Alicia A. Dion, 24, Katie M. Christofilis, 23, and Seth A. Collins, 20, were each charged with trespassing and opposing arrest without violence, police said.
It was the second night in a row that Occupy Tampa participants were arrested after refusing to leave the small garden park.
At 10 p.m. Saturday, police received a call saying that demonstrators had set up tents in Curtis Hixon park. Officers asked protesters to take them down, and they did.
At midnight, a second call came in saying that protesters had tarps and sleeping gear set up in the Kiley park. Officers asked them to clear out. The group of 10 protesters complied but was "verbally defiant," police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
At 3 a.m. Sunday, a third call complained that protesters were sleeping in the Kiley park. Officers again told them to leave. Most complied, but four did not and later were arrested on a trespassing charge. Their names were not available late Monday.
In its Twitter feed, Occupy Tampa said the latest four to be charged were arrested as they tried "taking" the park and added, "This will not stop until we have the park as ours."
Kiley Garden is a city park just south of the Curtis Hixon park, which has been the focus of Occupy Tampa's protests for the past month.