‘No DAPL’ protester shuts down intersection in downtown Columbus

This is the protester who stopped traffic in downtown Columbus for more than an hour this afternoon in downtown Columbus. He put his hands in pipes and chained himself to the axle of a van with "No DAPL" written along the side. (NBC4 Photo)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Police shut down Broad at 3rd for more than an hour after a protester parked a “No DAPL” van in the intersection and then chained himself underneath the vehicle.

It happened around 11:45am this morning during a scheduled protest by the Solidarity with Standing Rock Water Protectors near the Ohio Statehouse. The group was protesting the state of Ohio for sending OSP troopers to North Dakota.

The group then marched to the intersection of Broad & 3rd. That’s when one protester drove a minivan into the intersection, got out of the vehicle and secured himself to the rear axle of the van.

Police, fire, homeland security and dozens of officers responded to the scene. They brought in bomb-sniffing dogs as a precaution and after clearing the vehicle, worked to free the man using a special saw.

Officers say the protester, identified as Peter Gibbons-Ballew, 34, had a pipe handcuffed to him and locked himself to the van that way. They had to cut the van to get him out, and he still had the pipe locked to him when they left the scene.

When police finally pulled Gibbons-Ballew out from under the vehicle, he began shouting “water is Life.” He now faces misdemeanor charges of inducing panic, disorderly conduct, hindering & failure to comply.

“There’s a peaceful way to protest and we encourage that we actually have liaison officers available to talk to the groups to assist them. That’s not what happened today,” said Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Rich Weiner. “This tied up major resources within the city. It’s irresponsible.”

The roads reopened around 1pm.

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