Date: January 17, 2017
Agency: Morton County Sheriff's Department
Contact: Morton County PIO 701-595-3596 or 701-426-1587
Mandan, N.D. – Morton County law enforcement arrested a total of 14 protesters (3 were arrested near the confluence of Missouri and Cannonball River and 11 arrested on the Backwater Bridge) following 10 hours of protest activity from 3:00 pm, January 16 to 1:00 am January 17. The charges range from criminal trespass, engaging in a riot, possession of marijuana, fleeing, assault on a peace officer and preventing arrest.
We have received rumors of a snowmobile accident last night in which one person was injured. There is no evidence of this occurring.
An ambulance was called for two arrested protester. One had a minor cut and the other person complained of the effects of pepper spray.
Law enforcement came upon several homemade tire deflating devices that were placed on Highway 1806 pavement near Huff, ND. The 2” x 4” lumber with multiple protruding nails and broken glass was intended to be used to deflate tires that would drive over the device. It appears that several had been run over.
Less than lethal weapons were used when the protesters were given multiple orders and warnings to move back from the bridge. We are waiting a final report as to what type of munitions were used.
As protesters cut through and removed security wire they then crafted it into circular, Frisbee shape and were throwing it at law enforcement at the front line. (See photo)
In response to rumors that an Avenger vehicle is in place to shoot down drones, the ND Army National Guard does have an Avenger system employed in support of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest. These systems are used strictly for observation of ungoverned encampments to help protect private property and maintain public safety in southern Morton County, ND. The systems have no munitions; further, there is no authority to arm these vehicles with munitions.
NOTE: As of 4:20 pm today, there were two more arrested for criminal trespass on the Backwater Bridge for a total of 16 arrests the past two days.
Law enforcement has made a total of 603 arrests during protest activity since August 10.