Chris Schisler sits in jail awaiting a hearing on his arrest last week at OccupyMaine for aggravated assault in an early morning incident in which he hit a protestor in the head with a hammer, according to Evan McVeigh a Lincoln Park resident. Schisler and others were aggravated by the early morning drumming of a call to wake up. The residents had planned to rake leaves in the Park and the wake up call had been scheduled. Schisler’s finance won’t know until following the hearing when she can visit him. In the meantime, she and other Park residents are taking care of the couple’s 16 week old pit bull, Boss.
“It was a culmination of lots of stress,” said McVeigh. “He’s the best, most honorable person. He’s such a teddy bear,” he said of Schisler. Schisler had been head of security in the Park for weeks, but had recently resigned from that job because it was too stressful for him he told mhn.com recently. Schisler a former U.S. Marine had trained at the infamous Parris Island, SC bootcamp. He served tours in both Iraq and Afghanastan. His finance said he suffers from PTSD and the banging of the drum Friday morning reminded him of wartime.
On another matter, city officials conducted a walk through of the Park on Thursday morning, November 17th. The officials, Sgt. Andrew Hutchings, Tammy Munson, Captain Chris Pirone, Ted Musgrave, and Nicole Clegg, were looking for any health and safety violations in the Park according to a letter dated November 18th, from Gary Wood, corporation Counsel for the City.
While listing violations in an attachment, some more serious than others, Wood’s letter to OM’s pro bono attorney, John H. Branson, said in part: “The code violations noted above and the increasing demand on the services of the Portland Police Department are stretching the ability and willingness of the City to continue to accommodate and allow your clients’ occupancy in the Park.”
“The underlined issues in the list need to be addressed right away for their own safety and that of others,” Wood wrote to Branson. They were: no open burning, no smoking in tents and no propane heaters or open flames in tents. In that same letter, Wood requested a meeting to discuss “these issues and concerns” to be held Monday at city hall.
It’s expected that about 5 or 6 will represent OM in the meeting with city officials. They are: Alan Porter, Evan McVeigh, Heather Curtis, John The Baker, and attorney John Branson, for OM. Representing the City will be: City manager Mark Rees, city attorney Gary Wood, Acting Police Chief Mike Sauschuck, Ted Musgrave, Chris Pirone and Tammy Munson.
The media team for OM issued a press release that said in part: “OccupyMaine is a nonviolent movement. In light of reprehensible individual actions contrary to this core principal, OccupyMaine continues to stand resolute in our commitment to nonviolent social and economic change….OccupyMaine has mainained an excellent working relationship with the City of Portland and the Portland Police Departmengt and we look forward to continuing collaboration in an effort to promote the safety and well being of all.”