Brian Jordan Bartels, a 20-year-old man who Pittsburgh police said is suspected of inciting violence during a protest, was escorted by his parents as he turned himself in 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
Local law enforcement were investigating the destruction of a police SUV when they received an anonymous tip from a co-worker at Amazon who recognized Bartels at the scene of the crime, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The vehicle was set on fire after being tagged with spray paint Saturday, although police officers eventually arrived on horseback to disperse the rioters.
According to a criminal complaint and eyewitness accounts, a woman tried to stop Bartels from damaging the SUV, but he gave her the finger and proceeded to break the car’s windows.
#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
After Bartels was identified, police executed a search warrant at his home Sunday, breaking down the front and back doors when no one responded. They found two guns, six spray paint cans and the sweatshirt worn by Bartels during the demonstration, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The 20-year-old turned himself in Monday and was escorted by his parents and an attorney. Local news reporters attempted to ask him questions but Bartels ignored them as he walked into the station. He was referred to as “antifa kid” in a Monday tweet by Jason Howerton, but any affiliation with antifa is unclear.
Bartels faces multiple felony charges including criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and riot. (RELATED: More Than 4,400 People Arrested During Riots Across The Country)
— Pgh Public Safety (@PghPublicSafety) June 1, 2020
The events that took place in Pittsburgh over the weekend mirrors an unfolding situation across the country, where many protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody have escalated into riots. The destruction of police vehicles, looting of businesses and violence has occurred in several major cities as law enforcement groups scramble to stop the chaos.