Frank Sensabaugh, also known as Frank Nitty, who is the leader of the group marching from Milwaukee, Wis., to Washington, D.C., was arrested along with two other group leaders Wednesday in Kosciusko County. He is pictured here being released from the jail to open arms of fellow group members. Photo by Amanda Bridgman, Times-Union.
Frank Sensabaugh, also known as Frank Nitty, who is the leader of the group marching from Milwaukee, Wis., to Washington, D.C., was arrested along with two other group leaders Wednesday in Kosciusko County. He is pictured here being released from the jail to open arms of fellow group members. Photo by Amanda Bridgman, Times-Union.
“Martin Luther King was arrested 158 times and other people bailed him out and they started marching again, so that’s what we’re gonna do.”

That’s what Frank Sensabugh, also known as Frank Nitty, said Wednesday night after he was released from the Kosciusko County Jail for disorderly conduct.

Nitty is part of the group that’s gaining national attention marching from Milwaukee, Wis., to Washington, D.C., for the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech on Aug. 28.

The group is marching nearly 800 miles from their hometown, picking people up along the way. They arrived in Warsaw Monday and stayed an extra day, according to Nitty, because Warsaw was so welcoming.

“The mayor bought us a hot meal,” he said, adding that it’s a real disappointment of what happened Wednesday.

According to Nitty and his fellow marchers, the group was heading east to Fort Wayne on their path along U.S. 30 when they were approaching the Whitley County line. At that time, according to Nitty, nearly 20 Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) and Indiana State Police (ISP) cars rolled up and surrounded them, and officers began asking them questions and accusing them of obstructing traffic.

Nitty, Tory Lowe and Eric Ajala were all booked in the Kosciusko County Jail.

Local attorney Travis McConnell, who was on scene during the gathering outside of KCJ Wednesday night, said obstructing a lane of traffic is punishable by a ticket, not jail.

Nitty says they have high-profile attorneys in Milwaukee, and that they plan to sue Kosciusko County.

“You treat black people differently than you do white people,” Nitty said. “So let’s play the game to see who loses more money.”

Nitty said an ISP trooper dressed in plain clothes, who apprehended him, refused to give Nitty his name or his badge number and “tossed him in the car” with no air conditioning and told him “the dog’s OK, so you’ll be OK.”

“I’m not a f****** dog,” Nitty said. He said when the group passed through Plymouth a few days prior that people there were stopping to throw boots and trash at them while yelling racial slurs.

“I’m so happy that the Indiana bubble got popped,” Nitty said about the racism that could be able to hide in plain sight here. He was saddened that it came out in Warsaw – a city he said treated him and his group with so much respect.

“Everybody in there was embarrassed for the city of Warsaw and was apologizing,” Nitty said of KCJ staff. “In Indiana, they’re trying to break us. You can’t take this from us.”

This is the first trouble the group has encountered during their trek. In Valparaiso, the county sheriff escorted the group through town.

“I knew it would happen at some point, so I’m not shocked by the arrest,” Quamaine Woods who drove up from Daytona Beach, Fla., said outside of KCJ Wednesday. “I feel emotion for the three of them (who got arrested).”

According to the group, they posted a $305 cash bond for each of the three arrested.

For Gia Neal, an 11-year-old Milwaukee girl who is traveling with her kin, she’s watching and hurting.

“I’m enjoying my trip, but this day, no,” she said. “I feel like we’re making a change slowly, but I?kinda want to get there faster.”

She said she’s not worried about being treated differently where she’s from. But when it comes to her time in Indiana, she didn’t even know she was in this state until somebody told her. What she did know was that she felt bad vibes. She doesn’t take off her bracelet that she says keeps her safe.

“I feel like Indiana is not my place,” she said sitting on a curb outside of the jail Wednesday night. “It hurts me to see my own people get arrested. ... My biggest worry is for the speech. I feel like that’s gonna be the worst place because Trump is there and people are gonna be super racist. I’m proud of black people. We know our skin is not a threat. Today shouldn’t have happened.”

According to a news release from ISP, they arrested the trio around 6 p.m. on U.S. 30 for intentionally obstructing traffic on a divided highway with a speed limit of 60 mph.

ISP says Central Dispatch began receiving calls of traffic backed up for miles in the eastbound lanes of the highway.

“Troopers made contact with a group of protesters walking along U.S. 30 with eight support vehicles traveling at walking speed in the right lane creating a dangerous situation for the group as well as traveling motorists. At different times pedestrians would also walk in the travel portion of the roadway and not on the shoulder,” the release states.

Troopers spoke to Sensabaugh, the group’s leader, explaining that the group he was leading was creating a dangerous situation with both vehicles and pedestrians traveling at walking speed on U.S. 30. Troopers explained to the group that they were welcome to continue on with both pedestrians and vehicles traveling on the shoulder, the release states. Purportedly, the group failed to comply and continued walking eastbound with eastbound traffic continuing to back up for approximately seven miles.

The group was again approached on U.S. 30 near CR 900 East where it was again explained that the group could not continue to travel in the right lane impeding traffic.

It was at this point that Nitty, Ajala and Lowe were arrested for misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of traffic. Lowe was arrested for an additional charge of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

The Kosciusko County prosecutor will review the case for appropriate charges. KCSO and ISP were assisted at the scene by the Pierceton Police Department.