Protesters arrested after chaining themselves to a crane at a Tacoma LNG plant

Two protesters who spent Monday locked in a construction crane at a controversial liquefied natural-gas plant in Tacoma were arrested for their trouble.

Steve Way, 72, and Carlo Voi, 52, kayaked to the site at East 11th Street and Alexander Avenue and chained themselves to a crane as members of the Puyallup Tribe chanted and prayed.

The group was protesting Puget Sound Energy’s LNG project, arguing that the utility doesn’t have the proper permit.

“This is a dinosaur waiting to die,” Puyallup Tribe Councilmember James Rideout told KING-5. “Alternative energy – that’s the way to the future.”

Way and Voi, who do not belong to the Puyallup Tribe, said they locked themselves in the crane 25 feet off the ground to raise awareness about the project.

“I care about climate change and want to have a future for my grandchildren,” Way told KING-5. “I’ve been to port commission meetings and city council meetings and marches, and they’re still building this, and this is what I can do, so we’re up here.”

The men came down at the end of the work day and were taken into custody. They were booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree malicious mischief, criminal trespassing and obstructing a public servant.

Prosecutors will decide whether to press charges.

PSE officials said they’re open to listening to concerns about the project but are opposed to protests that endanger people.

“While we respect everyone’s right to express their opinions, safety is our priority,” spokesman Grant Ringel said. “Breaking into a heavy construction site and crawling on heavy equipment is extremely dangerous to both the trespassers and first responders.”

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653