3 face terror charges after Chicago apt. raid

The Chicago police department mounted patrol watches while protesters march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Three men arrested earlier this week when police raided a Chicago apartment were being held on terrorism conspiracy charges Saturday stemming from allegations that they tried to make Molotov cocktails ahead of the NATO summit, but the first major dress rehearsal of this weekend's large-scale protests was relatively peaceful.

Chicago police Lt. Kenneth Stoppa said the men face a bond hearing later Saturday on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of an explosive or incendiary device and providing material support. Stoppa identified the men being held as Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H.; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Mass.

CBS Station WBBM reports some protesters said there was nothing more incriminating than home brewing equipment in the Bridgeport apartment where they were staying.

Their attorney, Sarah Gelsomino of the National Lawyers Guild, told the wire the charges were "trumped up."

The men are "absolutely in shock and have no idea where these charges are coming from," Gelsomino told The Associated Press.

The three defendants were among nine protesters arrested in a controversial raid at the Bridgeport apartment, in which several people complained that police mistreated them and violated their civil rights.

Six others also arrested Wednesday in the raid of the South Side apartment where they were staying were released Friday without charges being filed.

One of those protesters, Occupy activist Darrin Annussek of Philadelphia, denied there were Molotov cocktails in the apartment or that raw materials had been compiled to make them.

"No way," Annussek said. "If I had seen anything that even resembled (a Molotov cocktail), I would have left."

He claims that during 18 hours in custody, police never told him why he was arrested, read him his rights or allowed him to make a phone call. He said he remained handcuffed to a bench, even after asking to use a restroom.

"There were guards walking by making statements into the door along the lines of `hippie,' `communist," `pinko,"' a tired-looking Annussek told reporters just after his release.

Stoppa declined to elaborate on the case beyond confirming the charges.

Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries, including 50 heads of state, will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense.

Among the pre-NATO protests planned for Saturday was a march on the home of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The big show will be on Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, when thousands of protesters are expected to march 2 ½ miles from a band shell on Lake Michigan to the McCormick Place convention center, where delegates will be meeting.

On Friday, Chicago police on bicycles and foot tailed activists through the streets of the city, but ignored taunts and went out of their way to make as few arrests as possible. Protesters made a lot of noise and tried to evade police, but otherwise were relatively uneventful.

In all, police said there was a single arrest on a charge of aggravated battery of a police officer. Another man was briefly taken into custody, but he was released a short time later after being questioned by police, a department spokesman said.

Also, officers were seen trying to arrest a man who scaled a bridge tower and pulled down part of a NATO banner. Earlier, police handcuffed a man at the end of a noisy but largely peaceful rally organized by the nation's largest nurses union.

From the police side of the protest line, it went largely how Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy envisioned it earlier this month when he said, "We're not going to lock somebody up for dropping a banana peel."