New video sends alleged rioter to trial

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s more fallout from the Grand Rapids riots as one of the alleged rioters heads to trial for his alleged room in the mayhem from the end of May. 

Chase Vladimir Spencer is slated to face a jury in Grand Rapids when new video allegedly showing him busting out a window with a stop sign was shown in court on Monday. 

It was video and facial recognition technology that led to this arrest. 

Police say the video is from just after midnight on May 31 at the Urban Obsession Day Salon on Fountain Street between Ottawa and Ionia avenues. 

Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Helmer told a judge the person wielding the stop sign is 23-year-old Spencer. 

The owner of the spa told prosecutors that more than $20,000 in damage was done to her store, including two other windows that were busted out. 

Spencer came to the United States from Uzbekistan when he was 11 and learned English and American sign language because he is deaf. 

This necessitated the use of multiple sign language interpreters in court Monday. 

Spencer’s attorney, Anthony Greene, did not dispute that it was Spencer in the video, but instead tried to argue that there was not enough proof to show that his client did more than $1,000 in damage as alleged by the charge. 

The defense also argued that his client was not acting in concert with other people, which is a necessary part of the riot charge. 

“He’s been here the whole night. It’s clear to anyone what is going on around him,” Helmer said. “There are fires, there is looting, there are people in the streets, there is tear gas — that is acting in concert, that is him by staying there and engaging in this conduct, he is in in concert with every other lawless person out there that night.” 

Spencer remains in jail on a $10,000 bond and faces as much as 10 years in jail if convicted. 

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