W MI man charged after police car tipped, burned in Utah protest

National

This photo provided by Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office shows Connor Peebles. A third person has been charged in the destruction of a Salt Lake City police car set on fire during protests over the death of George Floyd. Connor Peebles, 21, of Belmont, Michigan, helped flip the vehicle onto its roof Saturday May 30, 2020, prosecutors said in court documents. Peebles was charged Wednesday, June 3, 2020, with felony counts of criminal mischief and rioting. (Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A West Michigan man is the third person charged in the destruction of a Salt Lake City police car set on fire during protests over the death of George Floyd.

Connor Peebles, 21, of Belmont, Michigan, helped flip the vehicle onto its roof Saturday, prosecutors said in court documents. Peebles was charged Wednesday with felony counts of criminal mischief and rioting.

A police officer was arriving at the police station when she was surrounded by a crowd of people who began pounding on the windows, prosecutors said. Other officers helped her out of the car before it was destroyed.

Peebles later told police that he had damaged the patrol car and thrown water bottles at police officers, authorities said in court documents.

Peebles could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the riot count. The criminal mischief count carries a more severe punishment because of the number of people involved with flipping the car and is punishable by up to life in prison, according to court documents.

Two Salt Lake City men who are accused of tossing combustible substances into the patrol car were both charged with arson in federal court on Wednesday.

The police car had over $5,000 worth of damage, according to police.

No attorney was listed in court records who could comment on Peebles’ behalf.

Sophia Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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