WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that 18 people have been arraigned on charges in connection with allegedly blocking four lanes of southbound traffic this
morning on Interstate 93 in Medford.
Authorities say that at approximately 7:30 a.m., police received a phone call that a group of people had gathered at Interstate 93 in the vicinity of Exit 30, near the Century Bank building in Medford. When State Police arrived they saw a crowd of people on the highway and they requested that the individuals leave the area but that the individuals allegedly refused. In addition, State Police encountered a “human chain” of apparent protesters who were linked together with PVC pipes, metal chains, ropes, and carabineers, which prevented law enforcement from separating members of the group.
“While we respect the right of individuals to protest, this action jeopardized public safety,” said District Attorney Ryan. “This incident was more than an exercise of free speech; someone protesting or someone driving a vehicle could have been seriously injured. No one involved in civil disobedience has the legal right to trespass on a roadway with the intention of blocking traffic, let alone a major highway such as 93 during the morning commute.”
Authorities say the activities of these individuals resulted in all southbound vehicles being stopped or slowed down for several hours. Authorities say that on numerous occasions they asked the individuals to leave the area but the individuals refused. After using equipment to separate those individuals who were part of the “human chain,” law enforcement officers transported the suspects to the Medford State Police Barracks to be processed. This afternoon, 18 suspects were arraigned on charges in Somerville District Court. Judge Maurice Flynn ordered the defendants to return for a next court hearing on Tuesday, February 20.
Of the 18 suspects arrested in this incident today one is charged with a count of carrying a weapon. He is Andrew Murray of Byfield, who faces charges of carrying a dangerous weapon (an expandable baton), disorderly conduct, trespassing, and conspiracy.
Three other defendants face three charges and those individuals are: Benjamin Woods of Jamaica Plain, Ian Trefethen of Hyde Park, and Jessica Lowell of Arlington. They face charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing, and conspiracy.
14 suspects face four charges in connection with allegedly being part of the “human chain” and reportedly blocking traffic. The charges are resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and conspiracy. The individuals who were arraigned on these charges are:
· Ana Cancino, of the South End,
· Jackson Chan, of the Back Bay,
· Sabrina Ghaus, of Dorchester,
· Nancy Griffin, of Brighton,
· Johannes Huessy, of Roxbury,
· Kendra Jae, of Jamaica Plain,
· Mallory Kaczmarek, of Roxbury,
· Jacquelyn Lemus, of East Boston,
· Diana Mai, of Allston,
· Monica Majewski, of Dorchester,
· Thu Nguyen, of Jamaica Plain,
· Katharine Seitz, of Dorchester,
· Kathryn Selcraig, of Somerville, and,
· David Voutour, of Somerville.
The Assistant District Attorney assigned to this case is Mary F. P. O’Neill. The case was investigated by Massachusetts State Police, Medford Police Department, and Somerville Police Department. Medford and Somerville Fire Departments provided assistance on the scene in separating individuals who allegedly were linked together.