Archive for Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Outburst brings second arrest in as many days at City Hall

June 7, 2006


For the second evening in a row, Lawrence police officers arrested a Lawrence man during a public meeting at City Hall after he made an outburst and disobeyed orders from police officers.

Mark Cline was handcuffed and carried out by his arms and legs from the City Commission meeting Tuesday night after he began making accusatory comments related to the Salvation Army. Cline - who previously has identified himself as homeless - has long accused the Salvation Army of being a homophobic organization, which it has denied.

When Cline began making those accusations during a public hearing regarding a site plan for a new Salvation Army shelter in East Lawrence, Mayor Mike Amyx asked him to stop or to direct his comments to the site plan. Cline refused, and Amyx recessed the meeting.

Cline continued speaking after commissioners left their seats. Cline eventually went back to his seat, where two Lawrence police officers who were at the meeting asked him to leave the premises.

He refused and then jumped over the front row of seats in the gallery and ran toward the commission dais. Officers then grabbed him, put him face down on the floor and handcuffed him.

Cline was arrested in a similar fashion Monday evening during a Traffic Safety Commission meeting regarding a cell phone ban. On Monday, he had an outburst while another individual was speaking and Cline began to move toward her in an aggressive manner.

After Tuesday's meeting, Amyx said he felt he had little choice but to stop Cline's comments.

"Some of the comments made were totally out of line," Amyx said. "I'm not going to allow people to talk like that. We will conduct ourselves in a way to show respect."

Cline's arrest created one of the more unusual scenes at a City Commission meeting in years. When officers asked him to leave, he cited his rights under the Kansas Open Meeting law to be at the meeting.

But a police officer told him, "You have a right to be here, but you don't have a right to be disruptive."

When Cline jumped over the front row of the gallery and was restrained face down in the middle of the commission chambers, he began yelling: "Make a statement, make a statement. Who is asking me to leave?"

That led Commissioner Boog Highberger to say over the commission's speaker system: "Calm down, Mark. Just calm down, and everything will be all right.

Cline was booked in Douglas County Jail on Tuesday night on criminal trespassing charges.

Staff writer Ron Knox contributed to this report.


Nikki May 11 years, 9 months ago

but he wasn't trespassing. He was allowed to be there. Shouldn't it be something else? Anyway, it is funny.

sanders 11 years, 9 months ago

If you are told to leave and refuse, it then becomes trespassing. I'm assuming that he refused to leave, which is why he was booked on that charge.

Dixie Jones 11 years, 9 months ago

you know the more i read LJW storeis the more i feel like im reading a highschool newspaper some of the things they print have no impact on the story .i guess they have to fill the space up so thats what they are doing .......

lunacydetector 11 years, 9 months ago

sounds like this guy is a tad bit emotional about the salvation army. wonder what rundle's perspective is of the salvation army and this man's outburst?

Sandman 11 years, 9 months ago

Be careful what you say about Cline, he might be elected your next city commissioner.

Wouldn't be the first nutball to be elected.

JimmyJoeBob 11 years, 9 months ago

He was tresspassing if he was asked to leave and refused.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 9 months ago

Probably wouldn't be the first nutball you voted for, either, Sandman.

lunacydetector 11 years, 9 months ago least you don't deny we've got some nutballs, or should it be nuts with balls?

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Just a can a citizen be asked to leave public property and then be charged for trespassing if he doesn't? Isn't city hall public property?

They said he had a right to be there, but not be disruptive. So if he stopped being disruptive, how can they continue to ask him to leave?

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 9 months ago

Well I was told by somebody at monday night meeting that this guy had that woman 8yr old daughter so upset that she really thought he was going to hurt her or worse. so I do not know about tuesday but come on does anybody need to act like that? I did not read in the paper any where about any of that just him so who know how he was realing acting on tuesday. could be more than what the ljw has said. ya think?

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 9 months ago

man I really do need a nap making no sense at all anywhere.

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