A Dorchester woman who can often be found in the morning yelling outside Mayor Wu's house in Roslindale switched things up yesterday and tried to interrupt a City Hall press conference about Marathon preparations - only to get arrested on charges of assault and battery on a police officer and disrupting the peace, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Catherine Theresa Vitale, 31, who has also traveled to state education headquarters to protest mask school mask requirements, and another woman "began shouting into megaphones" around 12:35 p.m. as Wu and local police officials were discussing how to keep Monday's race safe and how they would react to the New York subway shootings, the DA's office reports.
"Shame on Wu!" Vitale, who also had a whistle around her neck, and the other woman yelled.
Officers escorted both outside of the building, and they continued to shout through her megaphone at City Hall Plaza.
A crowd gathered around the two, and an employee of an area business approached police about the disruption to employees and customers. The officers instructed both individuals to stop. Vitale instead attempted to force her way back into City Hall by pushing an officer. Officers warned that she would be arrested if she continued, but the defendant continued to push the officer.
As she, an officer and a BPD sergeant were awaiting a prisoner-transport wagon across from the Old State House, failed City Council candidate Donnie Palmer came up, greeted the cops and tried to keep the two women from angrily denouncing the police, according to a video taken by one of their supporters. The women told him to go away and that they realized he was not really on their side because the cops were clearly taking Wu's side on whatever it was they were angry about.
Acting DA Kevin Hayden says there is the right to protest and then there is physical assault:
The right to protest and to dissent are central to our democracy and will be protected. Physical assaults, however, are not a valid form of protest.
Vitale was released on personal recognizance at her arraignment in Boston Municipal Court this morning. She then went back to City Hall, where she attended the City Council's regular Wednesday meeting - quietly, sitting behind City Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester).