Date: August, 31 2016
Agency: Morton County Sheriff's Department
Contact: Morton County PIO (701) 426-1587
Mandan, ND – Morton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a dispatch call at 7:22 a.m. today, August 31st of people crawling on construction equipment on the west side of Highway 6 south of St. Anthony. Morton County deputies were dispatched and observed approximately 50 protestors and 40 vehicles at the site. Deputies found two men bound to construction equipment. The two protestors secured their arms around the equipment and then covered their arms with what appears to be a PVC pipe or casting type of material. The Mandan Rural Fire Department was dispatched to the scene to assist in extracting the protestors from the construction equipment.
Deputies removed the two men who secured themselves to the equipment using extreme caution and numerous safety precautions and resources. Deputies arrested a 25 year old Cannonball, ND man around 9:00 a.m. after they removed him from the bottom frame of a piece of equipment. Deputies arrested a 26 yr. old Sioux Falls, SD man who was chained to the hydraulic arm of an excavator. They also arrested a 47 year old St. Louis, MO woman who was standing on the equipment next to the 26 year old man. Officers asked her repeatedly to step down and she refused.
Around 11:00 a.m. deputies directed protestors on the scene to move to a designated protest area approximately 100 feet from the construction site. Deputies arrested four additional people after they refused to clear the area.
“Deputies took every precaution to ensure the safety of the protestors who attached themselves to the equipment. Special equipment including harnesses and a bucket truck were brought in and utilized to prevent one of the protestors from falling when he was being removed. In addition, our deputies assisted the protestor in getting water when he was thirsty,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.
Authorities closed Highway 6 for traffic safety reasons due to the protest at the construction site. The roadway was reopened at 2:30 p.m. Approximately 40 officers were involved in responding to the protest activities. Agencies who responded to the protest include: Morton County deputies, Burleigh County deputies, Mandan PD officers, Bismarck PD officers, and ND Highway Patrol.
Below is information on individuals arrested for their involvement in the unlawful protest this morning on Highway 6. This brings the total number of individuals arrested related to the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Morton County to 37 people.
- 25 yr. Jeremiah IronRoad – Cannonball, ND (secured to equipment) - Criminal Trespass, Obstruct Government Function
- 26 yr. Dale “Happy” American Horse Jr. – Sioux Falls, SD (secured to equipment) - Prevent Arrest, Criminal Trespass, Obstruct Government Function
- 47 yr. Lisa Winter – St. Louis, Mo. (standing on equipment) - Prevent Arrest, Disorderly Conduct, Criminal Trespass
- 25 yr. Elizabeth Branham – Fair Oaks Ranch, TX - Obstruct Government Function, Disorderly Conduct
- 26 yr. Maxfield Estela – Edmonds, WA - Obstruct Government Function, Disorderly Conduct
- 52 yr. James Ironeyes – Fort Yates, ND - Obstruct Government Function, Disorderly Conduct
- 34 yr. Wicahpiluta Candelaria – Sanleandro, CA - Obstruct Government Function, Disorderly Conduct
- 37 yr. Leeann Eastman – Sisseton, SD - Obstruct Government Function, Disorderly Conduct