Caught on video: Protest escalates into fight outside City Hall

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by Brad Woodard / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 16, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 17 at 10:10 AM

HOUSTON – A 66-year-old Houston man was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after a disagreement between two protest groups at City Hall became physical.  

The protest against proposed cuts in state spending drew roughly 400 people to Houston City Hall Tuesday afternoon, including about 150 counter-protestors. At some point, the disagreement between the two groups became violent, and it was all caught on camera.

Egberto Willies, an avowed liberal and author, was among the group and showed the video he captured to 11 News. 

“We had a group of Tea Partiers out here.  They were loud, but very well behaved,” he said.

However there was one man who was not so well-behaved. The video shows the counter-protestor approaching the speaker with his own camera and a mega phone.

“He told the audience, everybody has the right to be here, let the guy tape,” Willies said. “And the guy got pretty active with his bullhorn and hit somebody, and when he did that the people around tried to grab onto him.”

Police identified the man arrested as Charles Cupp. 

Judy Schmid, of the Sugar Land Tea Party, said Cupp is not a member of the Tea Party.

She said even it he was a member, “one person's actions don't reflect any philosophy of the Tea Party.”

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