The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report of protestors on the pipeline right of way in Section 6 of Huntersville Township, northwest of Huntersville on Monday. The complainant stated there were approximately 30 individuals demonstrating and some of them were climbing on equipment located at the site.
Law enforcement arrived on scene while protestors were near the equipment and learned that one equipment operator was trapped in the equipment by the demonstrators. Deputies went to the equipment and escorted him through the protestors. It was then learned that four individuals had secured themselves to some equipment using immobilization devices.
Dispersal orders were given to the group for trespassing on pipeline property. Most left the area but the four individuals remained secured to the equipment. The protestors were locked through each track of the heavy equipment. A specialized cut team was dispatched to the scene to remove the demonstrators.
Eventually, all four individuals were removed from the equipment. One needed to be cut and the remaining three freed themselves. All four individuals were offered medical treatment but denied the request, they received no visible injuries in the removal process. All four individuals are being held in the Wadena County Jail for trespassing and obstructing the legal process. The case will be reviewed by the Wadena County Attorney’s Office for formal charges. The individuals were identified as Jackson Freasier, 29, of Austin, Texas, Matthew Kennedy, 25, of New Orleans, Lousianna, Christopher Kennedy, 25, of Liberty Hill, Texas, and Sarah VanHorn, 22, of Brooklyn, New York.
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the Hubbard and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Offices, North Memorial Ambulance, and Tri-County Ambulance.