METAIRIE, La. -- Three people who were part of a larger health care protest at U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s office were arrested Thursday after authorities said they were obstructing businesses that operate in the same building.
Booked on charges of remaining after forbidden were:
- Haley Saucier, 26, of Ponchatoula
- Mark D'Arensbourg, 33, of New Orleans
- Laura Welter, 29, of New Orleans
A group of about 20 people arrived at Cassidy’s Metairie office at 3421 N. Causeway Blvd. about 11 a.m. walked inside the building.
Cassidy’s staff offered the group the opportunity to come in two-by-two to air their grievances, but they refused if they were not all allowed to enter.
Saucier wore a blue arm-band, indicating she was willing to be arrested. She walked into the lobby of the private office tower ahead of the others. Darensbourg and Welter sat in a doorway of a set of several glass doors used to enter the building.
Saucier said she suffers from a rare blood disorder and could only afford her medication because of the expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The group said they would not leave until they got a commitment from Cassidy to vote against the Senate GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
After about 30 minutes, the group was asked to leave the building since they were obstructing other business’ operations, said Lt. Jason Rivarde, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman. All but Saucier, Darensbourg and Welter decided to go back to the public sidewalk.
“They were warned several times that they would be subject to arrest if they did not leave the location,” Rivarde said. “All of the individuals complied with the exception of three, and those three were arrested.”