[NATL] The Inauguration of President Barack Obama


Parade and Ceremonial Swearing-in Held January 21, 2013

Protester Climbs Tree Near Mall

Capitol Police: Protester almost 40 feet above ground

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013  |  Updated 11:08 AM EDT
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A man who was trying to make a political statement climbed a tree on the National Mall shortly before the swearing-in ceremony.

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A protester who took position up a tree on the U.S. Capitol grounds hours before President Barack Obama's second inauguration ceremony is in custody.

Rives Miller Grogan has been charged with three offenses, including removal or injury of property and contempt of court.

Around 8 a.m. Monday, Grogan managed to climb almost 40 feet up a tree near the intersection of 1st Street and Maryland Avenue SW, near the National Museum of the American Indian.

Authorities say that Grogan refused to come down, and D.C. Fire and EMS could not get to him. Neither could U.S. Capitol Police, which attempted to reach him with a ladder.

Grogan climbed down after the inaugural speech and was taken into custody then. He had a ticket for the location and was screened by security, police said.

Witnesses told News4's Richard Jordan the man was protesting Planned Parenthood and abortion, calling the president the antichrist and talking about how Democrats need to find Jesus.

Observer.com called Grogan "an anti-abortion activist with a history of disrupting high-profile events" who  held up a photo of fetuses during an Obama campaign rally in Ohio in November.


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