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A Pennsylvania judge has come down hard on about a dozen people arrested for rioting in Lancaster after police shot and killed a man who came at an officer with a large knife.
Police arrested 12 people and one juvenile for allegedly staging a riot beginning around 3 a.m. Monday, leading officers to deploy tear gas in order to dispel mobs, Fox News reported.
The violence stemmed from the death of Ricardo Munoz, a 27-year-old man with a history of mental illness. He is seen on police bodycam footage charging an officer with a knife. The officer, in apparent self-defense, shot and killed Munoz Sunday afternoon outside the home of his mother in downtown Lancaster.
A mob of people gathered and marched from the shooting scene to the police station, throwing glass bottles, bricks, liquid-filled gallon jugs, and plastic road barriers at officers, according to police. A county vehicle that was parked in front of the station also received damage.
The dozen adults charged were: Jamal Shariff Newman, 24; Barry Jones, 30; Frank Gaston, 43; Yoshua Dwayne Montague, 23; Matthew Modderman, 31; Talia Gessner, 18; Kathryn Patterson, 20; Taylor Enterline, 20; T-Jay Fry, 28; Dylan Davis, 28; Lee Alexander Wise, 29; Jessica Marie Lopez, 32.
They face a host of felony and misdemeanor charges that include rioting, arson, institutional vandalism, and criminal conspiracy.
In addition, a 16-year-old male was arrested on charges of rioting, disorderly conduct, possession of crime instruments, possession of marijuana, propelling missiles onto a road, and institutional vandalism, according to Fox News.
Montague, who hails from York, Pa., faces an additional charge of illegally possessing a firearm.
Magisterial District Judge Bruce A. Roth came down hard on nine of the 12, setting bail for defendants Newman, Jones, Montague, Modderman, Gessner, Patterson, Enterline, Fry, and Davis, at $1 million apiece.
As of this writing, according to the report, they have thus far been unable to post bail, which is generally 10 percent of the amount. At present, they’re being held at the Lancaster County Prison.
Fox News reported that no information about Lopez was available, but the judge set bail for Wise at $100,000; he, too, has not been able to post as of this writing.
Lancaster police said that Gaston is on probation, so a detainer will be filed against him.
A social justice advocacy organization, Lancaster Stands Up, complained about the amounts of bail. The group also said that Patterson and Enterline were acting as “medics” when they were arrested during the rioting.
“The absurdly high bail amounts indicate that what we’re seeing is not a measured pursuit of justice, but a politically motivated attack on the movement for police reform and accountability,” the group said in a tweet.
We're calling on our elected leaders—including Mayor @DaneneSorace, @PAAttorneyGen @GovernorTomWolf & @JohnFetterman—to step in and defend Taylor, Kathryn and other peaceful protestors against the politically motivated actions of local law enforcement, prosecutors and judges.
— Lancaster Stands Up (@lancstandsup) September 15, 2020
“We’re calling on our elected leaders—including Mayor @DaneneSorace, @PAAttorneyGen @GovernorTomWolf & @JohnFetterman—to step in and defend Taylor, Kathryn and other peaceful protestors against the politically motivated actions of local law enforcement, prosecutors and judges,” the group added, referencing Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace and Gov. Tom Wolf, among others.
Some 150 demonstrators returned to the streets Monday night calling for ‘justice’ on behalf of Munoz, but PennLive reported those protests were peaceful.
“We want an answer,” said Kassandra Orjales, 25, PennLive reported. “The name of the officer should be known. If it was one of us, we’d be all over the news. We won’t be silent anymore.”
According to Munoz’s family, he had a history of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and had not been taking his medications.
The officer who shot Munoz arrived in response to a 911 call from his mother, who said he was becoming “aggressive” and trying to break into her home.
Munoz was scheduled to go to trial next month on charges that he slashed four people last year.
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