A young Pennsylvania man who was wanted for inciting a riot during a peaceful protest over the weekend turned himself in to police.
Brian Bartels, who allegedly smashed in the windows of a police car and spray painted it in broad daylight during protests in downtown Pittsburgh, was escorted into police custody by his mother and father on Monday.
The Antifa kid who police say incited riot in Pittsburgh has been arrested and watching him turn himself in with mommy and daddy is the absolute greatest thing on the internet today.pic.twitter.com/pTZUPV9XZL
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) June 1, 2020
An anonymous tip from a co-worker reportedly indicated that Bartels was destroying the empty marked police SUV on Saturday during protests which eventually grew violent, resulting in 44 arrests and damage to 60 properties, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety.
“Police secured the warrant as part of an investigation into a male suspect who incited Saturday’s violence by breaking the windows out of a marked Pittsburgh Police vehicle Uptown, against the wishes of peaceful protesters who tried to stop him,” Pittsburgh police spokesman Chris Togneri said, according to Fox News.
The front and back doors of Bartel’s home were reportedly broken down by police when no one answered upon their arrival, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The entire home was apparently searched and police found two guns, six spray paint cans, gloves, and other items, along with a sweatshirt.
According to the Post-Gazette:
Police described the Sunday protest as one that “turned destructive, violent and into a riot situation” around 4:30 p.m. and blamed the incident with the police vehicle as being the root cause.
Detectives monitoring social media during the rally watched a protester strike the police car. Police acknowledged in the criminal complaint that plainclothes officers had infiltrated the crowd and one of them, identified as Detective Michael Lewis, saw the attack on the SUV unfold, inciting the crowd “to commit criminal acts.”
“I’m willing to bet my check that there’s a lot of people who are anarchists, who, they’re not here to protest what happened, they’re not here to protest what happened, they’re here to take advantage of situations and throw it their way and bring other people into the mix and cause damage and cause injury,” Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said Saturday.
“There’s no doubt that that’s who’s doing it and a lot of things we’re seeing are white males, dressed in the anarchist, Antifa, they’re ones who are fueling a lot of this,” he said. “It’s just a damn shame that they took advantage of the situation, for something, something happened in another state where somebody died who shouldn’t have died, and they hijacked that message for their own.”
A video that circulated from the hours-long protest showed a man in all-black Antifa-like clothing who is believed to be Bartels. He flipped off a woman who attempted to get him to stop before continuing with the destruction of the police car.
#BREAKING NEWS: Pittsburgh Police say 20 year old Brian Bartels is the man who incited riots in downtown #Pittsburgh yesterday. This is video taken of him destroying a police cruiser. An arrest warrant has been issued. https://t.co/AFYsrV2vsD
*WARNING* Explicit Language pic.twitter.com/CNmoVHx7Fn
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) June 1, 2020
According to police, Bartels faces charges of institutional vandalism, rioting, and reckless endangerment of another person.
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