CHICAGO (AP) — Three men arrested earlier this week when police raided a Chicago apartment were being held on terrorism conspiracy charges Saturday stemming from allegations that they tried to make Molotov cocktails ahead of the NATO summit, but the first major dress rehearsal of this weekend’s large-scale protests was relatively peaceful.
Chicago police Lt. Kenneth Stoppa said the men face a bond hearing later Saturday on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of an explosive or incendiary device and providing material support. Stoppa identified the men being held as Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H.; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24. A police spokesman gave Betterly’s hometown as Oakland Park, Mass., but no such town exists. There is an Oakland Park, Fla., that is near Fort Lauderdale.
Their attorney, Sarah Gelsomino, told The Associated Press the men are “absolutely in shock and have no idea where these charges are coming from.”
Six others also arrested Wednesday in the raid of the South Side apartment where they were staying were released Friday without charges being filed.
One of those protesters, Occupy activist Darrin Annussek of Philadelphia, denied there were Molotov cocktails in the apartment or that raw materials had been compiled to make them.
“No way,” Annussek said. “If I had seen anything that even resembled (a Molotov cocktail), I would have left.”
He claims that during 18 hours in custody, police never told him why he was arrested, read him his rights or allowed him to make a phone call. He said he remained handcuffed to a bench, even after asking to use a restroom.
“There were guards walking by making statements into the door along the lines of ‘hippie,’ ‘communist,” ‘pinko,'” a tired-looking Annussek told reporters just after his release.
Stoppa declined to elaborate on the case beyond confirming the charges.
Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries, including 50 heads of state, will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense.
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