Three men face federal arson charges after Las Vegas police car burned during protests

Local News

An image included in the criminal complaint shows gas being poured into a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department patrol unit.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Less than four days after a video was posted on social media showing a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department patrol car being set afire, three men face federal charges.

Tyree Walker, 23, Devarian Haynes, 23, and Ricardo Densmore, 24, face arson and conspiracy charges after the incident just after midnight Saturday. They are charged in the destruction of the Metro police car in downtown Las Vegas during protests of police violence in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed last week.

The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brenda Weksler on Friday. If convicted, the men could each face 5-20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

Arson protest Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department patrol car
An image included in the criminal complaint shows gas being poured into a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department patrol unit.

US Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the charges on Thursday.

The patrol unit, parked near the intersection of Ninth Street and Carson Avenue at the time, was destroyed.

According to the criminal complaint:

“On May 31, 2020, a video located by LVMPD investigators captured the events. The video begins as an individual, later identified by law enforcement through social media photos and accounts as defendant Ricardo Densmore, recording the incident, approached two males, later identified by law enforcement through social media photos and accounts as defendants Tyree Walker and Devarian Haynes. As Walker poured a liquid from the red gas can onto a white object, the defendants can be heard discussing pouring the liquid directly on the patrol vvehicles. Walker approached one of the patrol vehicles but quickly moved to the patrol vehicle parked directly behind the first vehicle, where he was joined by Haynes carrying the gas can. Throught a broken or missing front passenger side window, Walker ignited the white object using a butane lighter. Walker stood immediately adjacent while Haynes poured liquid from the gas can through the broken or missing window into the vehicle. As the fire ignited, the sound of a siren from an approaching LVMPDvehicle can be heard on the video. Walker dropped the unknown white object, which was on fire, into the patrol vehicle. Haynes dropped the gas can inside the patrol vehicle. The defenants fled on foot as the video immediately ends.

“Agitators who are using the camouflage of lawful protests to commit violence against law enforcement will be prosecuted,” Trutanich said. “Violence places protesters, first responders, and bystanders in danger, and steals focus away from the messages that peaceful protesters are striving to deliver.”

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