Four pipeline protesters arrested in Rainelle

RAINELLE, WV (WOAY) – Four people arrested after blocking parts of the Mountain Valley pipeline and obstructing a police officer.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at approximately 6:30 am, members of the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police responded to a 911 call regarding protesters at the Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite on Little Sewell Mountain Road near Rainelle. The initial call stated there were 10 to 15 protesters blocking the roadway and 3 protesters were chained to pipeline company equipment which was preventing workers from performing their job.

Upon arrival, the officers encountered approximately 15 protesters blocking the roadway and obstructing traffic. They were instructed to move to a safe location on the side of the roadway to conduct their protest that would not interfere with traffic.

One protester, Lisa Winter, refused to comply and was placed under arrest. The remaining disruptors complied with the directive.

The officers located three individuals chained to three separate excavators with a chain and carabineer inside of steel pipes that encased their arms up to their elbows. The protesters possessed the capability of unlocking the chain to remove themselves from the equipment, however, they refused to comply with instructions to do so. The design of their attachment prevented the officers from accessing the locking device.

Assistance was provided by members of the Rainelle and Clintonville fire departments with removing the protesters from the equipment. All three individuals were then placed under arrest.

Those arrested are as follows.

Cherri Lynn Foytlin, age 46, of Rayne, LA
Julie D. Dreamer, age 46, address unknown
James J. Steitz, age 39, of Las Cruces, NM
Lisa Winter, age 50, of St. Louis, MO

Three of the individuals were charged with trespassing, obstructing a police officer and tampering with a vehicle. Ms. Foytlin was additionally charged with battery on an emergency services responder. They were arraigned before a Greenbrier County Magistrate and released on bond.

Arresting officers were Sergeant J. T. Williams, Deputy A. L. Workman and Deputy M. T. Doss of the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office and Corporal M. A. Agee of the West Virginia State Police.

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