An activist with Occupy Easton was arrested this morning and charged with felony attempted bank robbery for what he claims was a misunderstood protest statement against bank fees, according to a report from The Express-Times.
David "Nature Dave" Gorczynski, 22, of the 100 block of Northampton Street, allegedly held up two cardboard signs at a Wells Fargo bank branch shortly before 10:30 a.m. One read, "You're being robbed," while the other said, "Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country."
A panicked teller called police and told them a man was holding a sign mentioning "a gun, bank and robbery."
A short time later, Gorczynski allegedly did the same inside a Bank of America, prompting an employee to activate the panic alarm.
Police found a man who fit the tellers' descriptions, identified as Gorczynski, in the parking lot of the Bank of America with the offending signs in tow.
He is charged with two felony counts each of attempted robbery and making terroristic threats, as well as summary disorderly conduct, and was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of 10 percent $10,000 bail. According to Occupy Easton's Facebook page, members of the movement have since posted bail.
Gorczynski's mother told The Express-Times that she thought the arrest was "unfair for him" because "he was known for protesting in the area."
The same sentiment seemed to prevail among Occupy Easton protesters, who held a rally and march to city police headquarters this evening to raise legal funds for Gorczynski's defense.
"Our comrade was at the bank protesting the theft of our tax dollars, our homes, and our economy by the criminal banksters," the Facebook event page reads. "He is not the criminal. If the police were truly there to protect and serve the taxpayers, the banksters would be arrested and this man would be called a hero."
According to blog Neighbors of Easton,
the "You are being robbed," sign was meant to address bank customers
subject to the financial institution's policies, not the tellers. One of the activists at the rally told The Express-Times, "This thing is a big misunderstanding."
Gorcynski, in a comment on his defense fundraising page, wrote, "hello I would just like to clarify something......i would never try and rob a bank....obviously."