76-Year-Old Man Says He Was Arrested At Board Meeting For Asking Members To Speak Louder
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Charlotte) — A 76-year-old man who says he was arrested at a board meeting for asking members to speak up pleaded not guilty Monday to disrupting a public meeting and resisting arrest.
Eddie Overholt was taken into custody Friday while at the Industrial Development Bond Board in Greeneville. People were protesting the U.S. Nitrogen Plant’s plans to build a pipeline to dump water into the Nolichucky River, WATE-TV reports.
Overholt explained that he was placed into handcuffs after asking the board members to speak up during the meeting.
“The board met up at the front of the room at a big table, had us roped off, and they were talking so low nobody could hear,” Overholt told WATE.
According to a police report obtained by WCYB-TV, Overholt was accused of disrupting the meeting after Greene County Mayor Alan Broyles asked the people in attendance to be quiet.
Overholt thought he would be allowed to speak during the meeting, but since it was a public meeting and not a public hearing, the crowd would not be allowed to speak during the meeting.
“It’s very important for a governing entity to set up a meeting especially when they know the meetings going to draw a large crowd to set it up so that they can be heard and avoid these kinds of upset citizens,” Overholt told WATE.
Overholt stated he was upset at how the authorities handled him while he was being arrested.
“I was pretty upset with the policeman who handled me and put me in jail,” Overholt told WYCB. “That was the biggest complaint because very specifically and nicely I told him I’ve got back problems, I’ve got leg problems, I will either have to sit down or get something to continue.”
Overholt’s next court appearance is Sept. 22.