23 Arrested After Occupy Dallas Protest at Chase

Arrested demonstrators to be charged with criminal trespass

Nearly two dozen Occupy Dallas protesters were arrested after a demonstration outside of a Chase Bank branch in downtown Dallas on Monday afternoon.

Protesters blocked customers from entering the Chase bank at Main and Akard streets in downtown Dallas at about 2:15 p.m. Another group of protesters were inside the bank branch, canceling their accounts.

"There was a group of people, through the Facebook and tweets, [that] had agreed to go and close out their bank accounts today," protester Veronica Navarro.

Dallas police were called to the branch, as well as Chase Tower, and the protesters were asked to leave because they were blocking customer access to the bank.

Dallas officers told the protesters that none of them would be arrested if they complied with the criminal trespass warning and vacated the property.

But many of the protesters refused to leave. Occupy Dallas said in a statement that protesters "locked arms in front of the bank and refused to move."

"There were probably about 20 to 30 of us that chose to sit down because we knew what this meant," protester Daniel Moos said. "If we sat down -- we are choosing to get arrested, and that is admirable in my opinion."

Dallas police arrested 23 people on suspicion of criminal trespass, the city and police said. Occupy Dallas said in its statement that 24 people were arrested.

The city said one police officer received minor injuries to his leg.

Shortly before 4 p.m., on it Facebook page, the organization relayed information to supporters about moving the protests to Lew Sterrett Justice Center to protest the arrests.

NBC 5 crews said about 30 protesters were stationed around the Justice Center, waiting for the arrested protesters to be released.

A Dallas detective said the process was delayed at the jail because some protesters were not identifying themselves with the correct name. Those individuals were fingerprinted to have their information checked against state databases.

Video of the arrests was published to YouTube shortly after 3 p.m.

Dallas police were expected to remain at both locations for the next several hours.

According to the group's schedule on their website, supporters from the encampment were to march on Chase Tower at 5 p.m., but that obviously changed. On Facebook, the group said the protest was planned from noon to 5 p.m.

The group is currently occupying and living in a section of land at Dallas' City Hall Park as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

NBC 5's Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.

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