Minor and Paralytic Among 19 Protesters Arrested at Rose Parade, PETA Claims

Published : Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | 2:07 PM

A 12-year-old girl and a paralytic were among the 19 people arrested while holding a protest against SeaWorld’s float in the 2014 Rose Parade, an activist group claimed.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said Rose McCoy, 12, and Gretchen Ryan, who PETA said is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair, “were dragged from the parade route and arrested” with 17 others during the protest.

McCoy jumped the barricade at the Rose Parade, ran onto the parade route and sat down in front of the float to protest SeaWorld’s float, PETA said.

“I couldn’t imagine being separated from my mom and put in a cement box so people could pay to gawk at me, but that’s what SeaWorld does when it snatches baby orcas from their moms,” McCoy said. “I hope families will realize the suffering in every single tiny tank at SeaWorld and stay a mile away.”

The demonstrators allegedly violated Pasadena Municipal Code 3.22.020(F) which prohibits “interference with special event,” Pasadena police Lt. Terysa Rojas told the Pasadena Star-News.

The group said PETA Senior Vice President and long-time Pasadena resident Lisa Lange was also among the demonstrators arrested.

The protesters were taken into custody without struggle and their protests caused no significant delays to the parade, Rojas told the newspaper.

About 100 protesters carrying signs reading, “Boycott SeaWorld,” followed the float for the entire route, PETA said.

PETA held several protests in the recent months against SeaWorld’s float design which they claimed showed an inaccurate depiction of the “miserable lives and deaths of dolphins and orcas at SeaWorld parks.”