New Hampshire police arrest 3 pro-Palestinian protesters after building damaged at Israeli-owned company

Three people were arrested and charged in New Hampshire on Monday after a building was vandalized and damaged during a pro-Palestinian protest.

The demonstration was held at the property of a defense manufacturing facility whose parent company is based in Israel, according to The Laconia Daily Sun.

Sophie Marika Ross, 22, Cala Mairead Walsh, 19, and Bridget Irene Shergalis, 27, were charged with riot, sabotage, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. All three were held on preventative detention.

Merrimack police responded just before 8 a.m. on Monday to calls from employees at Elbit System on Daniel Webster Highway reporting protesters blocking the driveway and multiple people on the roof. The Merrimack Fire Department was also dispatched because of a report of smoke coming from the roof.

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At the location, officers found several pro-Palestinian protesters blocking the driveway. The demonstrators eventually departed the roadway, so officers could access the property.

After meeting with security, officers learned the front of the building had been spray-painted red, windows had been smashed and at least one of the main lobby doors had been locked shut with a bicycle anti-theft device. 

Three people also managed to access the roof, police said.

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A group of officers accessed the roof and arrested Ross, Walsh and Shergalis without incident. Ross and Walsh are from Massachusetts while Shergalis is from Connecticut. 

Police said evidence from the scene suggests the smoke was caused by an incendiary device, which was similar to the ones found on one of the suspects. Officers also found additional damage on the roof, including more spray-painting, smashed skylights and damage to HVAC equipment.

The FBI is assisting Merrimack police with the investigation.

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