Renton woman among those arrested in freeway protest

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor charges on April 18 against six individuals, including a Renton woman, a Bellevue man and four Seattle residents, accused of blocking northbound Interstate 5 in Seattle in a protest on Jan. 6.

Prosecutors have charged five of the six with criminal trespassing in the second degree and disorderly conduct, and one with a single charge of disorderly conduct. The counts serve as misdemeanor charges.

According to Casey McNerthney, director of communications for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Washington State Patrol referred 12 individuals, including the six charged, to prosecutors. The individuals were identified through an investigation following the protest. Prosecutors have requested the Washington State Patrol provide an additional investigation and information into five individuals, and have declined one case as a result of insufficient evidence.

According to Washington State Patrol investigation documents, approximately 100 protesters accessed northbound Interstate 5 in Seattle using an on-ramp from Olive Street, blocking the freeway for multiple hours.

Law enforcement investigation of the incident identified individuals through evidence, including photographic evidence, video of the incident, and social media.

According to McNerthney, after reviewing the 12 initial case referrals, received in February 2024, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office sent a detailed list to the state patrol of additional information needed per case.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office received the additional information requested in March, and spent several weeks reviewing, discussing, staffing, and planning the handling of the cases prior to the filing of the six cases on April 18 in King County District Court.

The court accepted the cases on April 19.

The Washington State Patrol’s investigation continues into five additional individuals.