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Deputies assist with Crestwood protestors


Deputies assist with Crestwood protestors

SCHUYLER COUNTY-- Following a resurgence of protests last week, the number of people arrested outside of the Crestwood gate now stands at 161. Yates County sheriff's deputies were called in for the first time Tuesday, Dec. 16 to assist the Schuyler County Sheriff's departments with arresting Crestwood protestors. Some 68 people were arrested -- 40 Tuesday, Dec. 16 and 28 Wednesday, Dec. 17 -- while blockading the gates leading into the Crestwood compressor station along Route 14, bringing the arrest total over 100 since the "We Are Seneca Lake" civil disobedience movement began in late October.
"There were 40 arrests on Tuesday and another 28 today [Wednesday, Dec. 17,]" Schuyler County Sheriff William Yessman said. "Due to the unusual number of arrests Yates County was requested to assist. We do not feel that this will be the normal procedure."
Tuesday's arrests also marked the first time the Yates County Sheriff's Department was called in to assist.
"Schuyler County called for mutual aid, and we ended up sending two deputies and a trooper to the scene," Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike said. "Our corrections transport van also went down there to assist."
Those arrested are protesting the expansion of methane gas storage in salt caverns on the shore of Seneca Lake, a separate project from Crestwood's proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issues conference. The protesters are to calling on President Barack Obama, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Congressman Tom Reed to halt the project.
Spike said his deputies took eight protestors into custody for Schuyler, adding this is the first time his department has had to assist with the Crestwood protests, despite being held on standby before.
"The scene was not out of control," Yessman said. "Supporters of the protestors were crossing the roadway causing a hazard for themselves and motorists. Others were slow to disperse when ordered to move on causing another traffic hazard. One person was charged with resisting arrest for failing to walk on his own to a patrol car for transport. It was a passive resistance."
"From the reports my people gave me, we did not encounter any resisting arrest from our observations," Spike added.

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