Tar Sands protesters arrested in Uintah County

UINTAH COUNTY (ABC 4 Utah) – Protesters from all over the country were arrested in Uintah County trespassing on State and Institutional Trust Lands Monday.

Deputies had been monitoring the activities of the group that had been camping in the area since July 15. They say group planned a peaceful protest in the area for the week of July 15-22.

When deputies arrived in the morning they say protesters vandalized a ‘no trespassing’ sign and entered a locked enclosure by climbing over a fence.

About 30 other protesters were sitting in front of the fenced area, refusing to move and blocking access to the area, preventing the equipment operators from gaining access to the equipment to start work.

After being asked to leave the posted area and allow access, the protesters (with the exception of one) willingly left the property.

Officers entered the fenced area and made arrests of the 15 protesters within the fenced area. Two of the protesters had secured themselves to the equipment and bolt cutters were required to remove them from the equipment.

As the law enforcement officers were attempting to leave the property with the prisoners, the protesters sat in the roadway and refused to move. They were asked to move by law enforcement, but refused to. When deputies approached them, the protesters started to physically resist the officers.

The six protesters that refused to move were arrested and transported to the Uintah County Jail. Charges included trespass on trust lands, Interference with an arresting officer and conspiracy to commit escape.

Here are the names of those arrested:

Lorenzo Serna Grandforks, ND
Elizabeth Arce Brintwood, NY
Tabitha Skervin East Lansing, MI
Iliana Correa-Hernadez Prescott, AZ
Valerie Montana Love Berkley, CA
Maribel Alejandra Mercado Portland, OR
Ashlyn Danielle Ruga Salt Lake City, UT
Victor Enrique Puertas Salt Lake City, UT
Jessee Jordan Fruhwirth Salt Lake City, UT
Damien Thomas Luzzo Davis, CA
Laura Gottesdiener Salt Lake City, UT
Daniel Joseph Gruppo Omaha, NB
Camila Allison Ibanez Brooklyn, NY
Anna Dorothy Leopold Chicago, IL
Melody Brianna Leppard Chicago, IL
Samuel Ralph Neubauer Racine, WI
Eric Michael Recchia Arcata, CA
Melinda Hatch Salt Lake City, UT
Cynthia Francis Spoon Salt Lake City, UT
Belmont T Pinger San Rafael, CA
Lionel P Trepanier Salt Lake City, UT

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