HUNTERSVILLE — The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report Tuesday, Feb. 16, of demonstrators on the pipeline right of way in section 4 of Huntersville Township, northeast of Huntersville.
The reporting party called at 11:01 a.m. stating there were 30 individuals demonstrating and some of them were climbing on equipment and pipes located at the work site.
Law enforcement arrived on scene and the demonstrators got off the equipment, according to a news release. Construction workers on scene told law enforcement four people from the group of demonstrators climbed into the pipe with cold weather gear and sleeping bags.
Dispersal orders were given to the group of demonstrators trespassing on pipeline property, the release stated.
Most left the area but three remained inside the pipe, according to authorities. The section of pipe was 2,250 feet long and the three individuals were 70 feet inside the east end of the pipe. Additional dispersal orders were given to those inside the pipe, the release stated.
Those inside the pipe refused to comply with the lawful order to remove themselves and stayed inside for six hours, authorities reported. They were identified as a 20-year-old Medford, Oregon, woman; a 22-year-old St. Paul woman and a 26-year-old Stevens Point, Wisconsin, man.
At 5:30 p.m, the three people exited the pipe without incident. They were taken into custody by law enforcement, medically cleared by medical personnel on scene and transported to the Wadena County Jail. The three are being held for possible gross misdemeanor trespassing charges.
The sheriff’s office was assisted on scene by the Menahga Police Department, Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office and Tri-County Ambulance. The Wadena County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case for formal charges.