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Cromwell Arrested at Demonstration

July 4, 2001 GMT

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FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ Five protesters, including ``Babe″ actor James Cromwell, were arrested for trespassing Tuesday during an animal rights demonstration targeting the Wendy’s fast food chain, police said.

As many as 350 other people demonstrated outside but dispersed after about an hour, police said. No injuries were reported.

Police arrested Cromwell, 51, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and three officials of the Norfolk, Va. based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals inside a northern Virginia Wendy’s restaurant. They allegedly refused to leave after urging patrons to boycott the restaurant.


PETA employees Lisa Lange, 34, Tracy Reiman, 33, and Jay Kelly, 28, all of Norfolk, also were charged, Fairfax police said.

Cromwell was released on his own recognizance after about five hours, a PETA spokesman said.

A fifth protester was arrested after he allegedly climbed onto the restaurant’s roof with a banner that read, ``Wendy’s: Closed for animal cruelty.″ A PETA spokesman said Sean Diener, 21, of Layton, Utah, remained on the roof for about ten minutes before he was taken into custody.

PETA said it recently suspended protest efforts against McDonald’s and Burger King after the companies announced they would adopt animal welfare guidelines for suppliers.

``After ‘Babe,’ people recognized that pigs and other animals ... are sensitive, gentle animals,″ Cromwell said in a statement released by PETA. ``It’s high time that big corporations like Wendy’s stopped treating these wonderful animals like meat machines.″

A spokesman for Ohio-based Wendy’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.