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Fewer citations at Occupy Tucson; 3 ticketed overnight

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Fewer citations at Occupy Tucson; 3 ticketed overnight

Tucson police cited 3 Occupy Tucson demonstrators for remaining in a downtown park after closing time overnight, a department spokesman said.

There have been over 580 arrests since the protest began Oct. 15, police records show.

Police cited 3 Occupy Tucson protesters for refusing to leave Veinte de Agosto Park on Wednesday night, said TPD's Sgt. Matt Ronstadt.

The number of demonstrators ticketed has fallen, along with overnight temperatures, following the protesters' move from Armory Park two weeks ago.

Tuesday, 4 protesters were arrested and cited for remaining in the park after hours. Monday, 5 were ticketed.

The City Council deadlocked Tuesday on a proposal to create a free speech zone in the park, allowing demonstrators to remain overnight without permits.

41 protesters were cited over the long Veterans Day weekend, police said.

Last Thursday night, 10 demonstrators were arrested. Friday night, 9 were given tickets, followed by 13 on Saturday night and 9 on Sunday night.

Although the downtown park, also known as Pancho Villa Park, closes at dusk, police have waited until about 10:30 p.m. to issue citations for being in the park after closing time.

Demonstrators moved to the park after being evicted from nearby Armory Park two weeks ago.

Police had been citing some 20 or more protesters each night until just before the move from Armory Park.

Occupy Tucson protesters have been allowed to remain in the parks overnight after being cited for the misdemeanor offense of being in a park after closing time. Each night, police allow those who wish to leave to do so before making arrests and writing tickets.

The protesters face a maximum $1,000 fine for violating the park closing rules, a misdemeanor. While many of those arrested for trespassing at unrelated Tucson demonstrations in the past have seen their charges dismissed, the city has moved ahead with prosecuting those ticketed at Occupy Tucson.

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