Local Man Admits Setting Fire to Pittsburgh Police Vehicle and Interfering with Law Enforcement during May 30, 2020 Protest
PITTSBURGH, PA (STL.News) A resident of Allegheny County pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to set fire to property of an organization that receives federal funding and unlawful interference with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Christopher West, 26, of Pittsburgh, PA 15210 pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that West attended a protest march held on May 30, 2020, in the downtown Pittsburgh area. The march was related primarily to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The march in Pittsburgh began at approximately 2:30 pm on Liberty Avenue in the downtown area, and eventually finished at approximately 4:30 pm on Centre Avenue near the intersection with Washington Place above the PPG Paints Arena. At that time, many of the participants were agitated, and one of them began vandalizing a marked Pittsburgh Bureau of Police vehicle (“Unit 3212”) on Centre Avenue. The crowd was thereby incited to join in vandalizing and destroying that vehicle, and eventually set fire to that vehicle.