UCSB student David Bodek was arrested about 8 a.m. Monday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars confirmed Tuesday.
“He was camping illegally in the park and refused to not do that,” Sugars said. “Camping overnight is against the law, and we’ve been very clear about that.”
Sugars said officials from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol have had productive conversations with Occupy protesters, and have said that as long as they don’t break the law, they can protest as much as they like.
Bodek received a cite and release for camping in a park, and Sugars said the young man was released within the day.
Bodek did not return calls for comment, but a Facebook update from Occupy Santa Barbara’s page first updated the public about the arrest.
“First (deputies) disturbed his sleep, then handcuffed him, then they put him in a cage — because he was tired,” the post said. “David has been a part of the legal team for Occupy Santa Barbara for over a month and is a hardworking, kindhearted UCSB student, and a good friend.” The post encouraged supporters to call the Sheriff’s Department and complain about the arrest.
Last month, eight Occupy Santa Barbara protesters were arrested the second night of the protest, when Santa Barbara police officers enforced De la Guerra Park’s 10 p.m. closing time.
Across the country, police dismantled the original Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park in New York City early Tuesday morning. The protesters had been in the park for more than eight weeks.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said their presence had begun to affect health and safety of the protesters as well as the public. On Tuesday, a judge upheld a temporary restraining order to keep protesters out of the park.