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Protestor at Wells Fargo Charged with Terroristic Threatening
by Jake Hartline
Protesting in rural Pennsylvania can get you charged with felonies, just ask 22-year-old David C. Gorczynski who was participating with an Occupy Wall Street group in Easton, located about 60 miles outside Philadelphia with a population of only 26,800 according to 2010 census numbers.
Police detained Gorczynski after he walked into the local Wells Fargo branch carrying two signs. One sign read, “You’re being robbed” and the other “Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country.” He was then charged with attempted bank robbery and terroristic threatening, both of which are felonies as well as one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
Officers responded after a teller had hit an alarm, Easton police Chief Carl Scalzo told the press, “I think our guys did what they had to do in this instance. At the end of the day, if we get a report of a panic alarm at a bank, we’re going to respond accordingly.”
Scalzo went on to say, “ We can’t allow the perceived idea of protesting to be a defense to criminality. People have to understand if they want to protest, there’s a line.” He also added that Gorczynski’s first amendment right to protest is subordinate to any allegation that he may have been behind something more sinister.
Mary Catherine Roper from the American Civil Liberties Union explained to the local press that the charges seem “overzealous.. especially given the clear political nature of the statements.”
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli claims to be “…very on top of this” and that he is investigating whether or not the charges are justified. Gorczynski was bonded out on $10,000, after a defense and bail fund established online brought in enough money to pay his bail.