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St. Cloud protest blocks traffic, leading to fight; 2 arrested

Officers use crowd-dispersing measures after smoke bomb thrown by demonstrators

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ST. CLOUD, Fla. – Two protesters were arrested Sunday after a demonstration threatened to endanger public safety, according to the St. Cloud Police Department.

Officers said the protest of as many as 50 demonstrators began around 4 p.m. at OP Johnson Park. Police did not say what the demonstrators were protesting.

According to a news release, vehicles were passing by the protest when demonstrators linked arms and walked into the roadway, blocking them from passing through.

Police said an argument between protesters and drivers began and a fight ensued. Police responded to the altercation and separated the two groups. Officers said a woman sustained a foot injury during the altercation, but she refused medical attention.

According to police, protesters then walked to 13th Street and Montana Avenue, where some protesters stopped traffic, with some using their vehicles to block other cars from passing. Police said some protesters threw smoke bombs into the roadway, “creating a disorderly and dangerous situation in the roadway."

Officers said they warned demonstrators multiple times to stop blocking the roadway.

“The protesters refused and after continued aggression, officers utilized crowd-dispersing measures,” officials said in a news release.

A man who called 911 said he was worried because he thought he saw one of the protesters who was involved in the fight reach for what appeared to be a handgun in his backpack.

“He’s definitely got a gun in that backpack,” the 911 caller said.

Warren Cajuste, 23, was arrested on a charge of resisting and obstructing without violence, according to department officials. Patrick Chery, 24, was arrested on charges of resisting and obstructing without violence and assault on a law enforcement officer, according to a news release.

Records show Chery is accused of pulling his clenched fist back as if he was about to punch an officer while Cajuste is accused of pulling away as officers were trying to take him into custody.