Mountain Valley Pipeline protester arrested in Montgomery County

By Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer, Colter Anstaett - Reporter

ELLISTON, Va. - UPDATE

A man is charged after state police say he assaulted a Mountain Valley Pipeline worker.

Jamie Hale was arrested during a pipeline protest Monday morning.

Around a dozen people stood on the side of Flatwoods Road for about four hours, holding signs and banners.

One banner said "No Jail No Cops."

Another said "Still Here. No MVP."

Protester Freeman Allan drove to Montgomery County from Crozet, Virginia Sunday night in prepartion for the protest.

"What we are doing is representing thousands of Virginia citizens who believe this Mountain Valley Pipeline is a crime against the planet, a crime against our grandchildren," Allan said.

He said the protesters are non-violent and respect state police.

"We've blockaded the workers here, probably 20 or 30 workers for at least those four hours. We will be back. We won't back down," Allan said.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Richard Garletts said the arrest should serve as a reminder to protesters that, while they can protest, there are limits.

"Mr. Hale seems to show up at every one of these and he always skirts the line. He knows what he can and can't do and this morning he crossed it just a little bit," Garletts said.

Protesters can protest in the MVP access points, Garletts said, but cannot block roads or block the pipeline workers from doing their job.

"We're going to respond to most of these things and try to give everybody an opportunity to leave, and welcome them to protest if they want to, in the correct manner," Garletts said.

The 303-mile natural gas pipeline runs through Virginia and West Virginia and is expected to be a major supplier of natural gas to the Mid-Atlantic and southern Atlantic coast when it's complete.

UPDATE

A Mountain Valley Pipeline protester was arrested Monday morning. 

Virginia State Police did not immediately say why the protester was arrested. 

10 News is working to get more information.  


ORIGINAL STORY

A group of Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters is blocking a road in Montgomery County. 

About a dozen people are peacefully protesting the pipeline in the 3600 block of Flatwoods Road in Elliston. They have reportedly been protesting since 6:30 a.m. 

There are four troopers at the scene, and no one has been arrested as of 9 a.m. Monday.  

10 News has a crew on the scene working to learn more information. 

Stay with 10 News as this story develops. 

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