PENCE SPRINGS, W.Va. — The latest protest-related arrest at the construction site of the Mountain Valley Pipeline occurred Monday, after a man barricaded himself inside a section of the pipeline that was nearly ready to be placed underground.
The unidentified protester was taken into custody at the scene in Pence Springs near Hinton by West Virginia State Police and charged with two misdemeanors, obstruction and trespassing, and a pair of felonies, property destruction and threats of terrorist acts. According to an officer, a second person was detained on suspicion of trespassing but later was released.
A banner on the pipe section read “MVP: THE TRUE TERRORIST,” in reference to a felony charge recently brought against another protester at an area of construction in Monroe County.
Monday’s incident marks the second straight arrest in which felonies have been charged. Holden Dometrius, 22, was arrested April 26 and charged with threats of terrorist acts, after chaining himself to a piece of equipment in the construction zone. That incident marked the first time a protester at the construction site had been charged with a felony. All previous arrests had resulted in misdemeanor charges.
The Summers County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not indicated whether additional charges would be filed in relation to Monday’s arrest.