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Protester to face charges after locking himself to a barrel of dirty water in front of the WV Governor's Mansion

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by Kerry McClanahan/WOWK-TV by Kerry McClanahan/WOWK-TV
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CHARLESTON, WV -

A man who locked himself to a barrel of dirty water on the front doorsteps of the Governor's Mansion Aug. 21 was charged with trespassing on government property and also obstruction.

David Baghdadi of Rock Creek locked himself to a barrel of dirty water early in the afternoon in protest of Appalachian coal slurry impoundments. He identified himself as a member of Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival, or RAMPS.

He appeared to be locked inside a pipe, but after he was told he would have to pay for an x-ray at a Charleston-area hospital, he released his grip. He appeared before Kanawha County Magistrate Julie Yeager, who set his bail at $5,000, and among the terms of his release was a requirement that he stay off the Capitol Complex grounds, which includes the Governor's mansion.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was not at the Governor's Mansion at the time of the protest.

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Communications Director Larry Messina said the diversion of resources, such as firefighters and police, that might have been needed elsewhere was "a major concern."