21 charged with loitering; accused of blocking traffic during Anaheim hotel-union protest

by in News

SANTA ANA — Anaheim City Councilman Jose Moreno, Orange County Democratic Party Chair Ada Briceno and 19 other people were charged Friday with a pair of misdemeanors for blocking the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue during a hotel-union protest in January.

The protesters were arrested on Jan. 24 after allegedly standing in the intersection and refusing to leave when ordered by Anaheim police officers, according to Melanie Eustice, the chief of administration and public affairs with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Anaheim city councilman Jose Moreno is all smiles as he gets arrested for refusing to leave the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue during a hotel workers protest in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, Jan 24, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on April 19 in Fullerton, Eustice said.

They are charged with violating an Anaheim municipal code section of unlawful loitering upon public passageway so as to obstruct free passage, and conspiracy to violate that code section.

“As the district attorney, I respect the right to protest, but all of us are required to do it in a lawful manner,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The right to protest is afforded to everyone; exercising that right does not allow anyone to break the law and bring traffic to a complete standstill.”

The intersection is one of the busiest in Anaheim’s resort district, with 40,000 vehicles passing through daily, prosecutors say.

The other defendants were identified by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as:–Irene Elizabeth Arellano, 29, of Anaheim;–Matthew Ross Bell, 43, of Garden Grove;–Lori Anne Elizabeth Condinus, 54, of Hawthorne;–Abigail Espinosa, 26, of Anaheim;–Jaime Gomez, 29, of Costa Mesa;–Andrew R. Hausermann, 31, of Long Beach;–Margarita Hernandez, 47, of Anaheim;–Emma Rebekah Jensen, 37, of San Clemente;–Jeffrey Brian Letourneau, 62, of Brea;–Martin Gerardo Lopez, 53, of Anaheim;–Jesus Herera Manjarrez, 66, of Anaheim;–Joseph Savoy Mclaughlin, 55, of Irvine;–Susan Michi Minato, 57, of Los Angeles;–Caroline Phuong Bich Nguyen, 28, of Fullerton;–Manuel Otilio Ortiz, 59, of Garden Grove;–Maria Guadalupe Ortiz, 58, of Garden Grove;–Kurt Patrick Petersen, 53, of Los Angeles;–Tim Phan, 29, of Whittier; and–Ana Maria Rodriguez, 47, of Buena Park.

The Register contributed to this story.