PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –They say they lead a non-violent movement, but did members of Occupy Pittsburgh smash windows at the Municipal Courts building?
On New Year’s Eve, a group of protestors descended on the building carrying signs that called for the destruction of jails.
Some demonstrators identified themselves as members of Occupy Pittsburgh, but was the group really responsible?
At eight minutes to midnight on New Year’s Eve, the night judge and deputy sheriffs in the building heard what they thought to be gunshots.
They ran from the courtroom to find shattered windows and a mob outside.
“There were five double-paned windows that were damaged,” Kevin Faulds, a sergeant with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department, said. “From the outside, they broke the outside pane, but not the inside pane.”
The sheriff deputies say they saw two men from the group run off. The others stayed carrying a banner that read: “Destroy Prisons.”
“Several of the people there said that when asking for their address that they were homeless,” Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen said. “Several of the people there say they were living in tents and they were part of Occupy Pittsburgh.”
The sheriffs arrested one person on an outstanding warrant and let the others go.
At Occupy Pittsburgh, they denied any involvement.
“Anyone can say that they’re in Occupy,” a woman going by the name, “Ninja,” said. “You can just walk up and say, ‘I’m an Occupier.’”
“This is a non-violent movement and any sort of violence is not tolerated or permitted or permissed or what[ever] by anybody here at Occupy,” Damien Lythos, an Occupy Pittsburgh protestor, said.
Police are reviewing surveillance tapes to see if they can identify the people who broke the windows.