Protester assaults police officer

A protester in Lafayette Park assaulted a U.S. Park Service police officer yesterday when the officer tried to arrest him for sleeping, a spokesman said.

The officer approached several protesters who were sleeping in the park at 6 a.m. and was knocked to the ground by one man, said U.S. Park Police spokesman Earl Kittleman.

The officer, who was not identified, was treated for a jammed thumb, Mr. Kittleman said. Another officer arrived to help quell the disturbance.

Four people were arrested for assaulting an officer three were arrested for sleeping in the park, and a woman was arrested for indecent exposure, Mr. Kittleman said. An officer said the woman was naked from the waist down.

A federal regulation that prohibits sleeping in the park opposite the White House is under a court challenge. Protesters say the regulation infringes on First Amendment rights.