Occupy protester arrested for writing on ground with chalk

8:22 AM, Jan 12, 2012   |    comments
Timothy Michael Osmar
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ORLANDO, FLA. (CBS Tampa) - A South Carolina man associated with the Occupy Orlando movement was arrested late last year for writing on the ground with sidewalk chalk, and has been in jail ever since.

According to an arrest affidavit provided by the Orlando Police Department to CBS Tampa, Timothy Michael Osmar was found by authorities on Dec. 15 writing on the sidewalks with chalk.

Officer Phil Scaglione and Sgt. Ernest Payne approached Osmar, at which point Payne explained that it is "unlawful for any person to write, print, mark, paint, stamp or paste any sign, notice of advertisement upon the surface of any sidewalk or paved street in the city."

The affidavit says that this was explained to Osmar multiple times, but that he disregarded the warning and continued to write on the ground.

Others associated with the movement told WDBO-FM that Osmar is "being held as a political prisoner," and that the severity of the punishment is not suitable for the crime itself.

"This is not permanently defacing any property," Occupy Orlando protestor Jim Callahan said to WDBO-FM. "It will be washed away in the next rain storm. And if they want to do it sooner they can put a garden hose to it."

The website for Orange County Corrections states that Osmar was officially booked on Dec. 22 of last year, and has yet to be released.

The listing also states that Osmar is a transient, with no formal address to his name. His state of origin was determined by the identification he carried, which came from South Carolina.

Several days prior to the sidewalk chalk incident, Osmar was arrested for prohibited camping.

He has been charged with "writing or painting advertising matter on streets and sidewalks." As of Jan. 10, he was being held on a $500 bond.

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