- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Two people have been arrested following a protest over zoo parking at Overton Park in Memphis.

The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/25xlOE1 ) reports that authorities arrested Fergus Nolan and Maureen Spain on Monday. Nolan and Spain were part of a crowd of protesters that gathered to oppose the Memphis Zoo’s use of the park’s greensward for overflow parking.

Nolan was arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Spain was booked on charges including criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.

Memphis police say Spain sat on gravel and had her two sons join her. Authorities say they worried the heat would affect the children. When officers moved to arrest Spain, police say she tried to run. Police eventually wrestled her to the ground and arrested her.

It’s unclear if Nolan and Spain have attorneys.

Laura Doty, a zoo spokeswoman, says the protesters affected families who wanted to go to the zoo on Memorial Day.

The Overton Park Conservancy and Memphis Zoo are currently in mediation over the zoo’s use of the greensward for parking on peak attendance days. The Memphis City Council previously approved a resolution to give the zoo control of part of the greensward.

“This is the city-approved footprint that we’re using. We’re sticking to the original agreement,” Doty said.

The Memphis City Council will vote on an ordinance about the greensward in July.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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