Five May Day protesters charged with felonies

May 7, 2013

Prosecutors have charged five May Day protestors with felonies following last week’s confrontation with police in downtown Seattle.

The standoff between anti-capitalist marchers and Seattle police escalated quickly around dusk on May 1, and before long, bottles and rocks were flying toward police, pepper spray and blast balls toward protesters.

Seventeen of those marchers were arrested and now five face assault and rioting charges. At a court appearance at the King County Jail Monday, Joshua Wollstein learned he is being charged with rioting, accused of throwing bottles at police and carrying a weapon called a blackjack or sand club.

Wollstein said he was caught up in the moment, and insisted he is a libertarian, not an anarchist. But he admitted to having contributed to escalating the chaos. Four others—Joshua Irwin-Patterson, Marcel Davis, Raymond Miller, and Gerardo Hernandez—were charged with assault for throwing rocks and bottles. Miller and Davis are accused of actually hitting officers, one of whom was injured in the leg.

About two dozen sympathizers were present at the jail hearing to support their comrades. Six other protesters have already been charged with misdemeanors, and several more could be charged in coming days.