LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Five Las Vegans face charges of damaging federal property in the aftermath of May 30 events that were part of Black Lives Matter protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
The five are accused of causing damage in excess of $71,000 to the Foley Federal Building and US Courthouse. Surveillance images provided by the US Attorney’s Office show some of the damage.
Alejandro Avalos, 28, Alexander Kostan, 21, Reginald Lewis, 19, Kelton K. Simon, 34, and Jeanette R. Wallace, 24, have been charged in separate criminal complaints with one count of depredation against property of the United States.
“Agitators at the May 30 protest in downtown Las Vegas allegedly damaged a federal courthouse and threatened to attack a law enforcement officer,” said US Attorney Trutanich. “These cases should reinforce that our office will protect lawful First Amendment activity — while also upholding the rule of law by prosecuting those who would incite and escalate violence, vandalism, and destruction.”
George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis set off protests all over the country.
The Foley Federal Building and the US Bankruptcy Court are the same building, located across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse.
Avalos, Kostan, Lewis, Simon, and Wallace have been arraigned in federal court. If convicted, each defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Court documents allege that the five were involved in spray painting grafitti, setting small fires and setting off fireworks. In addition, paint was thrown on windows and several people kicked and struck windows with objects.
According to an off-duty security Officer who was stationed inside the building said he could hear people in the crowd saying, “Get him!” and “Get the cop!” Police dispersed the crowd.
A US Attorney’s Office news release alleges these actions by the five who are charged:
- Footage captured by surveillance cameras at the Foley Federal Building (FFB), as well as social media videos, show Avalos striking the building’s windows with a blue metal bar, and breaking at least one window.
- Kostan repeatedly kicked the FFB’s windows.
- Simon repeatedly threw what appears to be a metal object, in the shape of the letter “N,” at the FFB windows. Metal letters that had been attached to the FFB’s exterior were torn off by the crowd.
- Wallace picked up and threw what appeared to be rocks and a paint can at FFB windows.
- Lewis repeatedly kicked FFB windows and doors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshal’s Office and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department cooperated in the investigation.