Eight ‘Occupy San Jose’ protesters arrested, one cited

Police arrested eight “Occupy San Jose” protesters and cited one early this morning at City Hall as part of a pre-planned operation.

Five people were cited for camping in front of City Hall, two people were cited for being there after 11 p.m., one person was arrested for scratching a police vehicle and a probation violation, and one person in a wheelchair was cited and released at the scene, police said.

The decision for the arrests was made by City Manager Debra Figone, police said. She recently met with her staff and Police Chief Chris Moore and expressed concerns about the health and safety issues associated with the encampment, according to police.

Police said there has been a build-up of trash and indications of urination and defecation near City Hall.

The arrests are misdemeanors, except for the vandalism, which carries a felony charge. Those arrested were booked into Santa Clara County Jail.

The operation — involving 10 officers, two sergeants, and one lieutenant — was carried out at about 3 a.m. to prevent the chance of interference by crowds leaving nightclubs in the city’s downtown area, police said.

This was not the first time police have issued citations to the protesters. Officers have contacted the protesters four times in the last two weeks.

A neighborhood services crew responded this morning and collected tents and other pieces of property belonging to the protesters. The items were taken to a city corporation yard for safekeeping.