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Group Evicted In SFSU Scuffle Connected To Squatters Evicted From Church

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - A group involved in a scuffle with San Francisco State University police Thursday night was part of a squatter's collective that was evicted from an abandoned church in the city earlier this week, according to a statement from a member of the group.

An SFSU police officer was injured and several people were arrested in the confrontation Thursday night when police sought to remove alleged trespassers from a dormitory, according to a university spokeswoman.

Police were initially called to the area outside Mary Ward Hall around 8 p.m. after they received a complaint about public drunkenness, university spokeswoman Ellen Griffin said.

After contacting and arresting one person there, police became aware that others were inside the dorm hall without authorization and went to remove them, Griffin said.

A statement from a person connected with the group SFCommune said group members were visiting a friend in the dorms when police "invaded" the room.

Griffin said dorm regulations allow one overnight visitor but the group was not signed in properly and exceeded occupancy limits for the dorm room. In addition, they had animals with them that are prohibited by regulations.

During the subsequent confrontation, the people in the dorm room allegedly resisted removal. At some point during the incident, a fire alarm was pulled and the entire dorm had to be evacuated.

Eventually, five people were arrested and a police officer was taken to the hospital, but it remains unclear how he was injured or how serious his injuries are, Griffin said.

The SFCommune statement indicates that three people were injured in the scuffle and hospitalized. Griffin said she was not aware of any such injuries.

The confrontation at SFSU is not the first involving SFCommune members this week. San Francisco police removed members of the group from a former church at 200 Broad St. on Wednesday.

Two of the squatters were taken into custody, one for an outstanding warrant and another for resisting arrest, according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza.

The group had operated a community garden and kitchen in the building, which it had occupied for around 13 months, the statement said.

A demonstration protesting Thursday's incident is planned by students and activists at SFSU's Malcolm X Plaza at 2 p.m. Friday, according to the statement.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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