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Five officers injured, 12 protesters arrested on Magnificent Mile

Gary C. Wagaman / Phoprovided by Chicago police.

Gary C. Wagaman / Photo provided by Chicago police.

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Updated: June 7, 2012 6:57AM

One of 12 people arrested after a peaceful protest escalated into a scuffle with police on the Magnificent Mile Wednesday night has been charged.

Gary C. Wagaman, 30, of Michigan was charged with felony aggravated battery of a peace officer.

Police said witnesses saw Wagaman throw something that hit an officer in the back of the head.

The Occupy Chicago protesters said the confrontation started when they were “vying” for Michigan Avenue near Ohio Street. The group moved into the street, but police pushed them back onto the sidewalk.

Some protesters were arrested in the street, but officers arrested other group leaders on the sidewalk after the situation had “settled,” said the protesters, who claim officers used batons and physical force.

“We were vying for the street when they started pushing us over the curb and pushing us down,” said Daniel Goering, 18, of Evanston. “Arrests started happening and everything got tense.

“They beat people, they were pushing people onto the ground. I think they were out of line. They were overly aggressive. The situation had calmed and they came and grabbed more up later.”

Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien said officers arrested 12 people. Misdemeanor charges are pending against the other 11.

The protest started peacefully Tuesday afternoon at 500 South State Street and moved north until they reached Ohio and Ontario streets, where they were arrested, O’Brien said. Protesters said they were showing solidarity for the hundreds arrested protesting tuition hikes in Quebec, Canada.

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