Mountain Valley Pipeline protester charged after locking himself to equipment

By Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer

Courtesy of Appalachians Against Pipelines

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. - A 26-year-old Blacksbug man faces multiple charges after police say he locked himself to Mountain Valley Pipeline construction equipment.

At 7 a.m. Friday, Virginia State Police troopers and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to reports of individuals securing themselves to equipment being used for the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction. 

State police spent several hours trying to negotiate Michael James-Deramo's surrender as he had secured himself to an excavator at the pipeline work site in the 3000 block of Bradshaw Road.

State police notified the individual that warrants for his arrest had been obtained and requested that he come down off the excavator.

He complied and released himself from the "sleeping dragon" device he was using to secure himself to the construction equipment.

With the assistance of two troopers and a mechanical lift, he was lowered to the ground.

Medical assistance was offered to him, but he denied any injury and refused treatment. 

At about 11:45 a.m., he was charged with entering property of another for the purpose of damaging it and breaking, injuring, defacing, destroying or preventing the operation of a vehicle.

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