Allen Weber says he went to Pittsburgh last month to photograph the street protests at the G20 summit, but police say he behaved like just another anarchist. According to Pittsburgh police Officer Brian Nicholas, Weber was one of hundreds of demonstrators gathered in a plaza on the evening of September 24th, after police had ordered everyone to disperse. Nicholas was in the front seat of an armored SWAT truck, and he dropped a smoke grenade from the truck, about 15 feet from the crowd.
In a preliminary hearing yesterday, Nicholas testified that Weber, wearing a black bicycle helmet and a black backpack, ran from the crowd, grabbed the grenade, and threw it back, striking the SWAT truck. According to Nicholas, "Then he celebrated with the crowd," raising his arms in the air "like he had just scored a touchdown." But the end zone euphoria was interrupted before anyone could dump the Gatorade, because cops soon tackled Weber and arrested him.
Weber pleaded not guilty, and he was released on a $10,000 percentage bond. And he's charged with aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, propulsion of missiles and obstruction of highways. He's not the only New Yorker in legal trouble for participating in the G20 protests; last week feds raided the home of a Queens man accused of "hindering apprehension or prosecution" for sending Twitter updates about riot police movements.