92-Year-Old Woman Arrested in Denton Fracking Protest

A 92-year-old great-grandmother and her 64-year-old son were the latest arrests in Denton's fracking protests Tuesday.

Violet Palmer, of Denton, was arrested on criminal trespassing charges along with her son, Theron Palmer.

When officers arrived to the Vantage Drill site on Nail Road they found Theron Palmer had chained himself to the gate, and his mother had placed a rocking chair next to him.

After officers warned the duo, Theron Palmer was cut free, and both were taken into custody. Violet Palmer, who is blind, was not handcuffed but instead carefully escorted by police into a squad car and to the Denton jail.

A judge released Violet Palmer a short time later with no bond and released her son on a $500 bond for trespassing and a $1,000 bond for obstructing a highway.

Upon her release Violet Palmer said the experience was "pleasant" and she thanked the police and judge for treating her with care and kindness during the situation.

Violet Palmer told NBC 5 she and her son waged the protest in response to House Bill 40, which essentially nullified Denton's voter-approved fracking ban at the state level.

"I didn't think it could happen here," she said. "To have their vote just taken away, just destroyed, ignored, destroyed, and it was very upsetting."

The Palmers are the latest of more than a half-dozen arrests in June for protesters trying to block drilling activity at the Vantage site, the first fracking site in town since HB40 passed.

On Tuesday night the Denton City Council is again scheduled to address the issue and is expected to pass some sort of measure standing with the ban but recognizing that it can not be enforced due to state law.

Violet Palmer said she would not attend the meeting, instead deciding to go to bed after the long morning.

The great-grandmother's family said she has never been arrested or even gotten a speeding ticket in 92 years, but she said she chose to do it to bring awareness to the situation.

"This is not about my age. This is about my vote," she said.

Advocates for HB40 said it upholds the rights of property owners and proves Denton's ban of fracking is not legal in the state of Texas.

Voters passed that ban by 59-41 in November and supporters have said repeatedly that they will keep protesting and working to see it stand.

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