RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - A Hot Springs man was arrested for criminal trespassing and obstruction of governmental operations while protesting the Diamond Pipeline.
On Monday, the Pope County Sheriff's Office responded to a trespassing call on the 5500 block of State Road 27 which a pipeline access road.
When deputies arrived, a person working for Delta Directional Drilling said a protester, 22-year-old Tyler Hamilton, had tied himself to an excavator.
The officers inspected the area and noted he had tied himself to the part of the excavator that operates the bucket. Hamilton used a steel pipe, rebar, chains, and carabiners to attach himself to the equipment.
After the arrest, Delta Directional Drilling sent an invoice claiming that the incident caused loss or damages in the amount of $7,242.75. They are pursuing a charge of second degree criminal mischief.
Hamilton was also officially charged with criminal trespassing, refusal to submit to arrest, and obstructing governmental operations.
Hamilton's bond hearing is scheduled for March 22 at 8:00 a.m. A local protest group, Arkansas Rising, said they will support Hamilton at the hearing and stand behind the "Water Protector" during his plea to the judge. They group says they are a collective "protecting the Natural State against Diamond Pipeline through civil disobedience.
Opponents of the pipeline say it is a threat to water, protected species, and historic sites in Arkansas. The 440-mile pipeline would cross 14 counties in the state and at least five rivers.
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