Pipeline protester who tied up downtown traffic appears in court


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A large number of first-responders and Homeland Security officers were tied up for hours Tuesday as a man handcuffed under a van blocked traffic in downtown Columbus.

Peter Gibbons-Ballew was able to hold off his arrest with his hands cuffed inside a metal pipe, that was then locked around the rear axle of a van.

Columbus police had to block a very busy intersection for two hours and Columbus fire officials say they had to remove the rear axle of this van to get Gibbons-Ballew out.

But that was just half the battle because he was still handcuffed inside this metal pipe shown here. Police loaded him up in their van to take him to jail since in that contraption, but jail officials tell me he willingly removed the cuffs and pipe before he arrived at jail.

This morning he was arraigned before a Franklin County Municipal Court judge, charged with three misdemeanors of inducing panic, disorderly conduct along with hindering and failure to comply.

Gibbons-Ballew is part of a local environmental group out of Athens County called Appalachia Resist. Yesterday’s protest started out peacefully on the statehouse grounds then marchers headed to Broad and third streets where traffic was intentionally stopped.

Appalachia Resist members say they were upset over Ohio sending state troopers to the Dakota pipeline protest. Those troopers have since returned home.

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