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3 men face court date after violence at Capitol

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POSTED February 28, 2012 8:12 p.m.

3 men face court date after violence at Capitol

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Three men remained jailed Tuesday on suspicion of resisting police during a confrontation between two groups protesting at the state Capitol.

All three are scheduled to appear Wednesday in Superior Court on suspicion of resisting officers and inciting a riot.

They are Nigel Robles, 18, of Davis; Eric Desouza, 29, of Fremont; and 31-year-old Kyle Lesley of San Francisco. No attorneys were listed for the three men, and police said they did not know if any of them had retained lawyers.

Robles also was held on suspicion of battery against a peace officer, while Lesley was held on additional allegations of interfering with a police horse and possession of marijuana. Bail for each was set at $20,000.

Bail for Desouza was set at $30,000. He was also being held on suspicion of wearing a mask or disguise for unlawful purposes.

They were among members of the Occupy movement who confronted a group protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa on Monday.

The arrests came as state and Sacramento police escorted about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage after their protest outside the Capitol. They were confronted by about 50 Occupy counter protesters, some of whom began throwing objects including bottles and paint-filled containers.

California Highway Patrol Officer Sean Kennedy said two CHP officers were recovering at home after being treated for facial injuries. One also suffered a knee injury.

One was injured when he tried to arrest a counter protester who had picked up a piece of concrete, Kennedy said. A second counter protester hit the officer in the face with some sort of chemical irritant, possibly pepper spray, and the first counter protester escaped.

The other officer injured his face and knee tackling a different counter protester. No one in the South Africa Project was injured.

Kennedy said the CHP does not expect to change its policy for allowing groups to lawfully protest at the Capitol, but it may change tactics used while confronting members of the Occupy movement.

"We have protesters who are aggressive toward police and CHP," Kennedy said. "We like to think we can keep any incident from escalating. But like you saw yesterday, it was OK at the Capitol, but once they crossed the street it all went crazy."

 

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