Occupy leader had prior arrest before protest

by: Ryan Young Updated:

ATLANTA,None - As protesters filled Woodruff Park this week, Channel 2 Action News decided to look into the leaders of Occupy Atlanta.

Channel 2's Ryan Young found out one of the most visible leaders of Occupy Atlanta had a criminal record and asked him about a past arrest.

Tim Franzen has stood as a strong voice for Occupy Atlanta. When leaders emerge it's not uncommon to look into their past.

"You've never been arrested?" Young asked Franzen shortly after he walked out of jail Wednesday.

"My record is public," Franzen said.

Young asked Franzen about his arrest record in1996. Records show Franzen was arrested under the name Tim McCabe and was charged with a felony for burglary and was charged with a possession of a controlled substance.

Franzen said he "got out of prison when I was 19. I decided to devote my life to men who got out of prison, started volunteering at Ridge View Institute, open my halfway house," Franzen said.

Online, Young found YouTube video of Franzen. Franzen told Young the videos were made to make a point about how hard Americans were working.

"The International Leisure Club was a labor rights project I started in 2006. It was challenging the analysis they were fat lazy and stupid, to say they are under-worked and underpaid. Leisure Club tried to promote in a fun tongue-and-cheek way," Franzen said.

Franzen's fellow supporters were angered by Young's questions, yelling at him during his interview.

"What led me into community organizing was my path, my past, was the school to prison, to pipeline that I experienced. These experiences that have brought me to where I am," Franzen said.