Westport police arrest two men protesting at Temple Israel meeting

WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Two men have been arrested by Westport Police today after they tried to enter a meeting at Temple Israel in protest.

Police said they received a call around 1pm of a complaint from Temple Israel about unwanted people protesting at the property. Shortly after the initial dispatch to responding units, the communications center started to receive additional calls reporting that a person had a gun. The first two arriving officers were able to take custody of the two individuals on the second floor meeting room where staff had physically detained them.

During the initial response Coleytown Middle School, Coleytown Elementary School, the Pre-School at the Unitarian Church and the Temple Israel Nursery were put into lockdown until officers were able to clear the buildings. No gun was located during the incident but a witness had observed one of the men approaching with a shirt over his arm and hand which led some witnesses to believe he was carrying a gun. Westport Officers were assisted by the Weston Police Department during the incident.

During the investigation it was learned that the Temple was hosting a talk with members of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The two suspects had arrived to protest the IDF. They entered the building and were confronted by staff and told to leave. The two suspects refused and walked past staff, and attempted to enter the meeting place. Temple Israel staff had to physically prevent them from entering the meeting room. As the two were detained outside the meeting room it was reported that they were shouting various statements regarding the IDF. The actions of the two protestors created enough concern to the attendees that several people had exited the premises in fear for their safety.

The two suspects claim to be college students protesting the IDF. A vehicle which witnesses reported as dropping them off has been located and the person has been identified. He will not be charged with any criminal charges.

The two protesters police charged were Daniel Fisher and Gregory Williams.  Both are from New Haven and are 25-years-old.

Fischer and Williams have been charged with Criminal Trespass in the First Degree and Breach of Peace in the Second Degree. Both were issued a $1,500 bond and will have a court date of May 21st at Norwalk Court.

 

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