Local News

Police arrest seven in Chapel Hill break-in, probe Occupy link

Posted November 13, 2011
Updated November 14, 2011

— Chapel Hill police arrested seven people Sunday after they say more than 70 attendees from an anarchist book fair broke in to an unoccupied building downtown to align themselves with the Occupy movement.

Police said that they were alerted to the break-in at the former Yates Motor Company building, at 419 W. Franklin St., on Saturday, and monitored the group overnight. Once the crowd had reached a more manageable size, a police tactical team moved in, taking seven people into custody.

Those arrested were taken to appear before a magistrate in Hillsborough on breaking and entering charges. No names have been released.

Hannah Shaw witnessed the arrests. She said it was terrifying. 

"Twenty police or so came in, ran in, no warning at all, and had their assault rifles pulled at us," she said. "(They) put a gun in my face and put guns in everybody's faces and screamed at us to get on the ground. We all got on the ground."

Justin Jacobs said police went too far.

Hannah Shaw Police raid illegal encampment in Chapel Hill

"They pushed me down on the ground, forced me to lay on my stomach and rolled me over," he said. "A cop put his gun on my lower back and I asked him if he was going to shoot me."

According to police, some of the people involved in the break-in are known anarchists, who were thought to have used anarchist strategies such as barricading themselves in buildings, placing traps in buildings and destroying property.

Windows were obscured by large banners and people were acting as lookouts on the roof of Yates building, police said.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said the town is investigating what link, if any, exists between these protesters and Occupy Chapel Hill. He said the town has worked with Occupy participants to facilitate their rights to free speech and assembly.

In the case of the Yates building break-in, however, Kleinschmidt said the town has a responsibility to enforce the law and to protect the property on behalf of its owners.

"It is my expectation, looking forward, that Occupy Chapel Hill and the town will maintain an open and cooperative relationship," he said in a statement. "The Occupy movement carries an important message for our town, our state and our country. I suspect it will be heard more clearly from Peace and Justice Plaza than from the Orange County jail."


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  • newwake Nov 14, 2011

    LOL, Which generally means they dress in black shout some profanities and go home to mom's basement. Cops did NOT know their community and decided on overtime pay for Christmas. No wonder why chapel hills taxes are so high. Your taxes are the "Shock" for the SWAT team's "Awe".

    CVDURHM what do you do for a living? I'm a police officer. Have been for 16 years. I dont work in Chapel Hill, or even anywhere near Chapel Hill. I used to live near and I keep up with things there via WRAL. I don't get your beef. It's so over the top...as if you are trying to pick a fight or something. Are you an adult? You don't act like one. Christmas, donuts, overtime? Mom's basement...where is this coming from? My career had been riddled with tense situations and some have resulted in the loss of close friends and coworkers doing their JOB. You portray officers as a lower form of society, and have raised youself above all. But the reality of police work is much more than you will ever be able to grasp.

  • newwake Nov 14, 2011

    Monca you are right. Laws were broken to escape at the time what seemed to be an unfair, unjust, tyrannical government. The ANARCHISTS movement exists to deny ANY government, ANY rules, any LAWS. Basically they exist to cause trouble. This group does not need any sympathy. They don't care. period. They break the law to break the law. Not for a cause, but for themselves. I don't see the correlation to the revolution. We are a much more advanced society today with practices in place (voting) to facilitate change. Will there be an uprising? Maybe. Would it be necessarily wrong. Not exactly. BUT BUT BUT...outright lawlessness should NEVER be tolerated. NEVER! I deal with corporate greed by trying to buy local food, local goods, and keeping my money in a local bank. You can achieve a lot of independence that way. I will fight (heck I used to fight frequently at work) for what is right, but I will NEVER fall into the trap of lawlessness or mob mentality.

  • newwake Nov 14, 2011

    cvdurhm Ive dealt with anarchists and sovereign citizens before...personally. I know their lawlessness and extremists views. Man they are crazy. Throughout the nation, they have KILLED to make their point. I just don't see it as overkill. I see it as a quick resolution to something that could have quickly gotten out of hand. New article this evening...girl says the door was open so it wasnt breaking in. Thats the mindset of the group. It seems extreme to those not used to it, but I think it was handled professionally and efficiently. And really...a keg party...man I'm not that bad am I?

  • wral mods blow close my account Nov 14, 2011

    Next time the kids walk across my lawn I want a 20 member SWAT team there. Don't wait for the crowd to thin; My centipede grass can't take it.

  • wral mods blow close my account Nov 14, 2011

    "Give me ONE good example or reason of how the police could have known who EVERYONE was in that building, and how in the WORLD do you predict violence" - newake

    It's called historical observation and proportional response. If the anarchists had been throwing Molotov cocktails prior to the raid then the force use would be justified.

    By your logic we should be breaking out the SWAT team for all keggers.

    "It sounds like you must have had a bad experience with the police at some point and are ranting." newwake

    Nope, unless you count the 1 speeding ticket and no ill will because I was speeding. Just calling out overkill when I see it.

  • Coretta Scott Thing Nov 14, 2011

    Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it" is a quotation more and more true. I am incensed by the blatant ignorance of American history here on this forum. We rebelled and became a nation through directly breaking the laws we were living under George III. We risked life, limb and reputation. A couple hundred years later, the shine of our country is more than slightly tarnished. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, our corporate raiders have decimated the economy and yet may still say "trust the system". Excuse me if I state that viewpoint is the very same that allowed Germans to rush to support Hitler ( and his dreams of a triumphant Germany). Funny how those who oppose the system ( any system) are marginalized to the extreme. I personally think that the Occupy Wall Street folks are brave, innovative and TRULY American in the original sense of the concept. There will always be sheep, thankfully some are black sheep and avoid the herd.

  • sunneyone Nov 14, 2011

    JAT said "There are military veterans everywhere so that adds no credence to the Occupy movement. Some of them are just as crazy as non-veterans."

    *I* say JAT how dare you!!! People sit around talking about how the military fought for the 99%'s right to protest and then you bash veterans for taking advantage of what he or she fought for? Or are they not entitled to speak for their beliefs after fighting for their country? And then you have the nerve to call them crazy?! If a Vet is crazy, it's probably because of PTSD for fighting in a war to protect this country. Do you know many veterans are homeless and jobless? Really! HOW DARE YOU!

    For the record, I am the 99%, but I do NOT agree with breaking and entering. I also do not feel that the anarchists are part of Occupy Chapel Hill.

  • 1234qwer Nov 14, 2011

    LOL ambygirl, the declaration of independence definitely came before the revolutionary war. love how you mixed those up while at the same time bashing someone else for mistakes in chronology. why are half of you people so dumb, seriously?! what are you getting so upset at the occupiers about, you don't even know 6th grade history! why are you sitting here bashing occupy protesters for not having jobs [which by the way, numerous new stories have shown that the majority do work pt and come to protest when they are off] while all of you are well-known commenters who sit in front of your computers all day posting rude, uninformed, and inflammatory junk and obviously not doing anything productive like having a job, because an employer would never stand for that behavior! If you don't agree with occupy protesters, then don't protest with them and get on with your life! they are not doing anything to you. just get over yourselves

  • Coretta Scott Thing Nov 14, 2011

    monca- And soon after that we won our independence- Then I believe the Declaration of Independence came along. I believe you have your history a little mixed up chronologically...... ambygirl

    Madame, YOU obviously have never read a history book every once in a while. Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence, all fully aware that the punishment for treason was death by hanging or dismemberment. What happened to them?

    Five Southern delegates were captured by the British, arrested as traitors and brutally tortured. Twelve had their homes ransacked, looted, burned and other property destroyed. Nine fought and died from either wounds or hardships suffered during the war. One returned home to find his wife had died and his 13 children vanished. They broke the law in a big way and we are now the better for it. Think about that before bashing the Occupiers.

  • wral mods blow close my account Nov 14, 2011

    "I have a feeling the police were hamstrung by your liberal establishment there from taking more immediate action." - Paladin2

    The police were obviously not hamstrung in spending our tax dollars.

    "cvdurhm: first you don't want them arrested, then you say too few were arrested." JAT

    Read my posts. Never said they should not be arrested. I think it was a waste of resources both in manpower & $ (not the only crime in CH that night). And with that overkill they still did not get the job done.