Ten people who participated in a protest in downtown San Diego against the Trump administration’s immigration policies, in which two of them rappelled off the 16th floor of the Westin Gaslamp Hotel to hang a large banner, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing charges, City Attorney Mara Elliott announced Tuesday.
As part of their guilty pleas Monday, all 10 defendants agreed to pay a $150 administrative fee and return to San Diego within two months to complete 16 hours of community service with the Alpha Project, a non-profit organization that provides services and housing to the homeless. Once the defendants meet those conditions, their cases will be dismissed, Elliott said.
“These protesters were held accountable for actions that diverted police officers from our streets and placed officers, hotel security, and the public at risk,” Elliott said. “Thousands peacefully protested in San Diego last summer without breaking laws or putting others in harm’s way. I am pleased that they will make amends by returning to San Diego and helping our vulnerable homeless population.”
On July 2, all 10 defendants entered the Westin with the intent of trespassing on hotel property, Elliott said. Some chained themselves to a stairwell, blocking hotel security and the police from accessing the roof. Others acted as spotters as two rappelled off the side of the building to hang the banner, Elliott said.
The two rappellers charged with trespassing with 24-year-old Kevin Chun Pang of Columbus, Ohio, and 29-year-old Brittany Renee Baker of Berkeley. The other defendants were 28-year-old Ethan Michael Buckner of Oakland; 27-year- old Roberta Capobianco of San Francisco; 31-year-old Katherine Nicole Wires of Oakland; 33-year-old Nora Wagner Rasman of Washington, D.C.; 26-year-old Nora Rachel Leccese of Boulder, Colo.; 27-year-old Brianna Latrell Gibson of Brooklyn, N.Y.; 31-year-old Jaque Fragua of Jemez Pueblo, N.M.; and 23-year-old Avery Sinclair of Washington, D.C.
–City News Service