Woman faces charges in June 11 disturbance at Upson drilling site
HURLEY — A felony robbery count and three misdemeanor charges were filed in Iron County Court Friday against a Stevens Point woman in a June 11 heated confrontation at the site of a proposed iron mine.
Katie Kloth, 26, is alleged to have committed the crimes near the site of the mine in the town of Anderson, near Upson, during a protest demonstration.
The criminal complaint filed by Iron County District Attorney Marty Lipske charges that Kloth used force to grab and destroy a camera, wrestling it away from a Gogebic-Taconite employee, who suffered wrist injuries in the skirmish.
As Kloth was pulling at the camera from the female employee, a man with blue hair came from behind and grabbed a phone out of the employee’s back pocket.
The complaint says a group of 15 to 20 protesters, their faces partially covered by bandanas, at first began throwing soda cans and shouting obscenities at G-Tac employees when their backs were turned.
The protesters then climbed on drilling equipment at the site and began throwing shovels and other items around, the complaint says.
Also damaged were a fire extinguisher, trailer tires, a lift strap and a valve body belonging to Idea Drilling. After the incident, the initial drilling was delayed until the next morning.
The complaint said about 20 barricades had been placed on the way to the site in an apparent attempt to slow law enforcement officers’ response time. Pictures of the barricades and a bridge where bolts had been removed were on the camera that was damaged, the employee told deputeis.
At the site of the disturbance, a male protestor told another G-Tac worker, “If there weren’t police officers coming, I’d ******* kill you.”
A member of the Harvest Camp located near the drill site initially identified Kloth as “Krow,” according to the complaint.
Protesters eventually scattered after more than an hour’s confrontation at the site that included numerous threats.
Kloth is also charged with being a party to the crime of theft, criminal damage to property and being a party to criminal damage to property.
Damages to the phone and camera were estimated at $900, while Idea Drilling damages totaled $1,500, according to the complaint signed by Iron County Sheriff Tony Furyk.
Kloth has been scheduled to appear in Iron County Court on 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 8.