SALT LAKE CITY – A federal complaint filed in federal court Wednesday morning charges Jackson Stuart Tamowski Patton of Salt Lake City with one count of arson for allegedly setting fire to a Salt Lake City Police Department vehicle during protests in Salt Lake City Saturday.
The complaint alleges that after rioters overturned a Salt Lake City patrol car during a protest in downtown Salt Lake City 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.
Salt Lake City police officers arrested Patton, age 26, Tuesday night at a protest event in Salt Lake City. An initial appearance in federal court will be set later.
The complaint and arrest were announced today 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. However, we have zero tolerance for those who hijack peaceful protests and commit violations of federal law,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “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.”
“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,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said today. “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. Individuals charged in a complaint are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. The charge in the complaint has a potential sentence of 20 years in prison with a minimum sentence of five years.