Occupy Nashville is claiming that the latest violence on Legislative Plaza isn’t tied to their encampment.
Last night, witnesses say they saw Justin Otto, 33, walk up to a woman’s tent, throw something from a cup onto it, and light it on fire, according to a Metro Nashville Police Department affidavit.
Protesters chased Otto to Church Street Park, where MNPD arrested him at around 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
But Occupy Nashville member Dorsey Malina said last night’s incident — as well as a fight on the plaza on Christmas Day — had no connection to the protests.
“There are some issues going on right now because the woman is saying that she was with Occupy Nashville, as did the two women who got in a fight on Christmas Day,” Malina said.
“I have confirmed through people on the plaza who dealt with the situation, they are there, they’ve been in a tent on the plaza, but they haven’t been active members.”
Malina also said last night’s incident involved a sleeping bag, not a tent, as indicated in the police report.
Otto was charged with setting fire to personal property and harassment, based on a report of threatening text messages he sent to his ex-girlfriend in September.
He posted the $4,500 bond and was released from jail Friday morning.