A former congressional candidate was arrested at Civic Center Plaza Tuesday after he set up a voter registration table in the hub of Occupy San Diego.
Ray Lutz was placed under citizen’s arrest at about 1:30 p.m. for “privately operated business premises” open to the general public for purposes contrary to those of the owner’s, or city municipal code 52.0.01(a), according to Lt. Andra Brown with the San Diego Police Department.
Fellow activists were enraged after the arrest, tweeting and sending out emails saying the arrest was a deterrent to democratic participation.
Wednesday morning, Lutz was released from custody, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s website.
In a message to his Facebook followers, Lutz wrote that everyone he met in jail couldn’t believe he was arrested for registering voters. He believed he was on public property, he said.
“I still can't believe the audacity,” he wrote. “The worst part was the handcuffs in the back of the car, where they let me sit for at least an hour.”
Police tore down occupiers’ tents Oct. 14, citing city municipal codes regarding encroachment on private property
“It is unlawful for any person to erect, place, allow to remain, construct, establish, plant or maintain any vegetation or object on any public street, alley, sidewalk, highway, or other public property or public right-of-way, except as otherwise provided by the Code,” the original notice to occupiers read.
Since the occupation began in early October, there have been over 100 arrests.