SLC man arrested on federal arson charges for allegedly setting fire to SLC police car; second suspect surrenders

Photos Courtesy: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict/Salt Lake County
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 3, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A federal complaint filed in federal court Wednesday morning charged a Salt Lake City man with one count of arson for allegedly setting fire to a SLC police vehicle during protests downtown Saturday.

Now a second suspect has turned himself in to police, according to Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

The first man arrested has been identified as Jackson Stuart Tamowski Patton, 26, said a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The identity of the second suspect has yet to be revealed.

The charge in the complaint has a potential sentence of 20 years in prison with a minimum sentence of five years.

The complaint alleges that after rioters overturned a Salt Lake City patrol car during a
protest in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, the patrol car was set on fire. According to the complaint, video footage from the riot shows Patton tossing a combustible substance onto the flames causing the flames to increase. The fire destroyed the patrol car.

Motorcyclist passes burning police car near the Salt Lake City Library, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

Officers arrested Patton on Tuesday night at a protest event in Salt Lake City, the news release said. An initial appearance in federal court will be set later.

The complaint and arrest were announced Wednesday by John W. Huber, U.S. Attorney for Utah; Chief Mike Brown of the Salt Lake City Police Department; Paul H. Haertel, Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City FBI; David Booth, ATF Special Agent in Charge for Utah; and Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jess L. Anderson.

“We value and support the rights we all enjoy to peacefully demonstrate and advocate for our beliefs,” U.S. Attorney Huber said. “However, we have zero tolerance for those who hijack peaceful protests and commit violations of federal law. Those involved in this criminal behavior — including the conduct alleged in this complaint — should know that we will use every available tool we have to hold them accountable.”

A peaceful protest in Salt Lake City turned violent on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown added: “Our detectives worked tirelessly to ascertain the identities of numerous perpetrators of violence and destruction in our city. We too are committed to bringing to justice those who attempted to interrupt the peaceful protest.

“We appreciate the partnerships we share with our federal agencies, to make sure that, through our shared resources, we are able to bring the correct judgment to these criminals.”

A complaint is not a finding of guilt, the news release added. Individuals charged in a complaint are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial.

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