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First Occupy Dallas arrests made outside downtown Chase bank

After weeks of sunny relations with city officials and police, the Occupy Dallas movement saw its first arrests Monday, when 24 protesters were cuffed and hauled away from a downtown Chase branch where police said they’d been obstructing the entrance.

The Dallas Observer reported protesters had planned to march into the bank two at a time, close their accounts and transfer their money to a credit union.

But WFAA reported that around 1 p.m., protesters had locked arms in front of the bank entrance, chanting, “the whole world is watching,” and blocking customers from entering.

WFAA’s Brett Shipp reported that the crowd of 50 demonstrators appeared ready for police action, wearing bandanas in case police used tear gas. The ones who were arrested were charged with “minor offenses such as trespassing and obstructing a passageway,” Shipp reported.

The arrests came hours after news that police were investigating a possible sexual assault of a 14-year-old runaway girl at the Occupy Dallas camp. Citing an anonymous source in the Dallas Police Department, CBS 11 News reported the girl was recognized from a “missing” poster, and wasn’t cooperating with investigators.

The movement has been camped in a horseshoe tucked behind City Hall for a little over a week, after officials asked demonstrators to leave their old site at nearby Pioneer Plaza.

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