Police taser man who swings knife near Albuquerque protesters

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 22, 2011 7:58 PM

(Reuters) - Albuquerque police tasered a man who lunged at four Occupy Albuquerque protesters while swinging a knife and later told police that their presence was disrespectful to a state university, police said on Saturday.

The man, 48-year-old Miguel Aguirre, approached at least four protesters on Friday near the University of New Mexico campus while carrying a 6- to 8-inch blade, according to police. He asked them: "Who wants to be first?"

Aguirre was later tasered and arrested, according to a police report. None of the protesters were injured.

The Albuquerque demonstration was part of a number of protests that have sprung up from the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last month in New York, protesting against jobs woes and wealth inequality.

Among the protesters Aguirre is accused of accosting were a pair who, hearing about a man armed with a knife, tried to explain to him that they wanted the protest to remain peaceful and to avoid any negative publicity.

Aguirre told police he had been on a days-long drinking binge and did not remember pulling a knife on the protesters, police said. He also told police the protesters were disrespecting the university and had no right to be there.

Aguirre was charged with aggravated assault, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and refusing to obey police, among other charges.

(Reporting by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)