Eight arrested in protest at courthouse

Phoenix Colyer

A Terre Haute man faces a charge of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury after he allegedly threw a water bottle that struck a woman during a Monday evening protest event in downtown Terre Haute.

In total, eight people were arrested Monday night — one on the battery charge and seven others on obstructing traffic charges.

Phoenix Colyer, 18, was booked into the Vigo County Jail at 11:28 p.m. Monday, and is expected to appear in city court today to face the misdemeanor battery allegation.

Terre Haute Police Chief Shawn Keen said Colyer and the seven others were arrested protesters jumped in front of cars, threw bottles and threatened motorists. Monday marked the third day of protests in the city.

Protesters identified Colyer as the person who threw the bottle that struck the woman, the police chief said.

Those arrested for obstructing traffic had been warned to get back onto sidewalks for safety, Keen said. Those arrests occurred separately throughout the evening.

“We tried everything not to arrest them,” Keen said. “We talked to their organizer about keeping people on the sidewalk. But when they start throwing stuff at cars and threatening motorists, we had to act.”

Indiana State Police and deputies from the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department responded to assist city police with maintaining safety. At one point, protesters were lying on the street to block traffic, Keen said.

“Some were just there to, unfortunately, take advantage of it,” Keen said of the protest. “And it doesn’t give a good name for the people are who protesting for change.”

Police tried to block traffic to keep protesters safe, Keen said, but some protesters walked around police to intentionally block traffic and create unsafe situations.

At Fourth and Poplar streets, a group surrounded a deputy’s vehicle.

Protesters were first seen gathering around 5 p.m. Monday near the police station. By 8 p.m., Keen said, larger groups had formed in the courthouse area. The last protesters left about 2:30 a.m.

Keen said police plan to continue to monitor and provide protection for peaceful protesters in the city. Any acts of violence, property damage or dangerous actions could result in arrests, he said.

Protests have occurred nationwide since the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd by police. Protests in Terre Haute on Saturday and Sunday resulted in no arrests as police monitored the activity, providing security for protesters and observers.

Each person arrested late Monday and early Tuesday on the obstructing traffic charge was released from jail on their own recognizance with instructions to appear in Terre Haute City Court.

Facing the Class B misdemeanor charge are:

• Dejanne Joshua, 24, of Terre Haute, booked in at 12:24 a.m. Tuesday. Joshua was released from jail at 3:29 a.m.

• Nadia Danique Culp, 22, of Terre Haute, booked in at 1:03 a.m. Tuesday. She was released at 3:24 a.m.

• Charles J. Walters, 32, of Allerton, Illinois, booked in at 1:06 a.m. Tuesday. He also faces a charge of resisting law enforcement. Walters was released at 3:07 a.m. Tuesday.

• Michael D. Shouse, 27, of Terre Haute, booked in at 2:11 a.m. He also faces a charge of disorderly conduct. Shouse was released at 4:01 a.m.

• Chandler Michael Craft, 18, of Terre Haute, booked in at midnight Tuesday. Craft was released at 3:13 a.m.

• Tatiana Kristian Jackson, 23, of Terre Haute, booked in at 11:50 p.m. Jackson was released at 3:32 a.m.

• Adesina Clay, 47, of Rockville, booked in at 11:36 p.m. Clay was released at 2:59 a.m.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.

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