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Protester arrested, charged with assaulting officer during press conference at Boston City Hall

Prosecutors say Catherine Vitale, 31, of Dorchester pushed an officer as she attempted to get into the city building.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff
Lane Turner/Globe Staff

A Dorchester woman is facing charges after authorities say she pushed a police officer during her attempts to interrupt a press conference at Boston City Hall with a megaphone on Tuesday.

Catherine Vitale, 31, was arraigned Wednesday and charged with disturbing the police and assault and battery on a police officer, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

The DA’s office said that on Tuesday around 12:25 p.m. Vitale and another person were allegedly shouting into megaphones, trying to interrupt a press conference regarding Boston Marathon safety. Both were taken outside, where they continued to use their megaphones on City Hall Plaza, the release said.

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A crowd then gathered around Vitale and the other individual, and a worker at a nearby business went up to police to talk about the disruption, according to the DA’s office. Officers then “instructed” both Vitale and the individual to stop. The Dorchester woman allegedly then tried to get back into city hall and pushed an officer.

The DA’s office said police warned she would be arrested if she continued, but she allegedly kept pushing the officer.

“The right to protest and to dissent are central to our democracy and will be protected,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in the release. “Physical assaults, however, are not a valid form of protest.”

Vitale was released on personal recognizance on Wednesday. Her next court date is May 13.

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