Despite warnings from police that “people may be coming to Seattle” on May Day “to commit violence, damage property and disrupt peaceful free speech activity,” two of the men facing charges in the aftermath of Tuesday’s protests have Capitol Hill connections.
Alex Garland, a photographer who works as a barista on Capitol Hill, and Bobby Ditrani, a Gage Academy art student, were two of eight people arrested as thousands of people protested in downtown Seattle earlier this week.
Ditrani, who pleaded guilty in this January 1st vandalism incident at a Capitol Hill work site, faces charges on one count of fourth degree assault after police say the 23-year-old spit on an officer after he was caught with a wooden pole like the one “Black Bloc” anarchists were seen using to bust windows during the height of Tuesday’s violence:
In the wake of his recent guilty plea in the vandalism case, Ditrani was required to post a $10,000 bond after this latest arrest and is out of jail awaiting arraignment.
Garland, 28, faces a charge of third degree assault after police say the photographer injured an officer when he refused to back away as an arrest was being made later in the day’s protests. According to the SPD report, Garland grabbed an officer’s hand and yanked his arm “causing physical pain.”
Garland, who has no previous criminal record, was released on his own recognizance. He, Ditrani and two others from the May Day arrests charged with felonies by the county prosecutor Friday will return to court for an arraignment later this month. A fifth person faces federal charges for allegedly breaking glass at the U.S. Federal Court House on 5th Ave. Three more were busted for misdemeanors.
Seattle Police have said they had indications that Tuesday’s protests would be violent because of an increase in graffiti and tagging with political messages in the weeks leading up to May Day. Of the four charged with felonies on Friday, all are current residents of Seattle.