By Tonya Malinowski
The charges against the CCSU student arrested at the Group of 20 talks two weeks ago will be dropped pending the completion of 50 hours of community service sentenced at his court date last Wednesday.
Jeff Bartos, 24, protested the G-20 talks in Pittsburgh when he was arrested with about 200 others and charged with disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. Bartos, the founder of the Connecticut chapter of Iraq Veterans against the war, was detained for 19 hours in Allegheny County Jail, according to his Connecticut contact, Chris Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said there was a national call-in to the Pittsburgh police departments and Allegheny county jail. Friends, family, and IVAW members called to find out where Bartos was being held and demanded he be set free.
“By 6 a.m. he was still detained after mostly all of the people he was arrested with were released,” Hutchinson said. “So we put out the notice to our whole anti-war list to start calling and demanding some answers.”
Bartos was released after 19 hours of detention, at which time another call-in was initiated to request the charges be dropped.
“He was just helping someone else rinse out their eyes after they had all been sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray,” Hutchinson said. “He was singled out and the police took all of his medic gear and bound him very tightly.”
The IVAW has organized a protest against the war on October 17 in Boston as part of a series of protests across the country. Bartos will be speaking about his experience. Bartos could not be reached, but Hutchinson said there is no legal action currently planned. When asked if he believed unnecessary and excessive force was used, Hutchinson answered, “absolutely.”
According to the Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Bartos’ file is under review and subsequently unavailable, but his community service can be served in Connecticut and all charges will be dropped upon their completion before his next court date in January.