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Man arrested in gay rally on probation for G-20

| Friday, Aug. 26, 2011, 12:00 p.m.

A man arrested this week during a rally against violence toward gay people was on probation for causing $15,000 in damage during the G-20 protests nearly two years ago.

Pittsburgh police charged David Japenga, 22, of Garfield with obstructing public passages, resisting arrest, failure to disperse and escape.

Police said they arrested Japenga and four others on Wednesday when they refused repeated commands not to block streets and sidewalks. Japenga was handcuffed at the end of a foot chase with police.

Japenga served about 4 1/2 months in jail for his conviction on four misdemeanors and a felony for breaking windows at Citizens Bank, Irish Design Center and Quizno's on Sept. 24, 2009, while world leaders were meeting in Pittsburgh for an economic conference.

Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski, who sentenced Japenga in the earlier case, signed a bench warrant on Thursday for Japenga violating his probation.

Japenga's attorney, Patrick Nightingale, said he wondered if police singled out the anarchists to arrest.

"There were 50 to 100 people that participated in the rally, and it seems there were only a few arrests," Nightingale said. "I'm confident he did not participate in the rally to engage in criminal conduct, but rather to exercise his First Amendment rights as he believed them to be."

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