Police clear Westlake Center, make five arrests in Seattle May Day protests
SEATTLE -- Police cleared Westlake Center Monday night and made five arrests after May Day protesters and pro-Trump demonstrators were facing off in downtown Seattle.
Police engaged in a scuffle after officers tried to keep protesters out of the street.
Officers were pushing people away from the corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street and threatening to use pepper spray, then ordered the crowds to disperse.
Police said officers cleared Westlake Park because of fights.
A line of bicycle officers was keeping people on the sidewalk and off the street.
Officers eventually cleared the street, then protesters split up into several different groups.
One man was arrested was at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street after police said he threw a rock. He is a 26-year-old Olympia resident.
Police said officers made the second arrested after another man was found with a hunting knife. That 30-year-old man is also from Olympia.
Police later provided a photo of the knife.
Police arrested a third man, a 51-year-old from Colorado, for fighting, officers said. That arrest came just before police cleared Westlake.
The fourth arrest came after police cleared Westlake Park and tried to keep protesters off the street. Police arrested a 27-year-old Seattle man for obstruction. The fifth person, a 19-year-old Seattle man, was arrested for stealing another protester's flag, police said.
The second arrest came after the group of pro-Trump demonstrators had confronted May Day protesters, then marched to the International District and returned to Westlake.
After that arrest, the confrontations continued.
At the same time, some of the opposing groups got together and smoked pot.
Police had warned earlier on Monday that officials worried about confrontations between different groups of protesters.
But speaking from the city's emergency operations center, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the number of protesters who had turned out by early evening was the smallest in number since he had been mayor. But had worried about troubles after dark.
All five men arrested were booked into the King County Jail.
Police also said they did not receive any reports of major property damage and there were no officers were injured.
They said some officers will patrol the streets through out the night to make sure there are no other incidents.