Richard W. Moore, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, announced today that a Mobile woman has been charged by criminal complaint with obstructing, impeding, and interfering with law enforcement during the course of a civil disorder that affected interstate commerce. Tia Deyon Pugh will make her initial appearance in United States District Court today at 10:30 a.m. before Magistrate Judge P. Bradley Murray.
According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court and unsealed today, Pugh attended the May 31, 2020 protest in downtown Mobile following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The affidavit filed in connection with the complaint alleges that Pugh and her fiancée both brought bats to the protest.
The complaint alleges that during the course of the protest, some individuals, including Pugh, left the main protest route and congregated on the Interstate 10 on-ramp at the intersection of Government Street and Water Street. Mobile Police Department Officers were deployed to the scene to prevent the protesters from walking up the on-ramp and blocking the westbound traffic on I-10. Protesters refused to follow MPD orders to disperse, and the scene became chaotic. During this chaos, according to the complaint, Pugh approached a marked and occupied MPD vehicle and used the bat she brought to the protest to smash in the passenger side window.
As alleged in the complaint, due to the protesters’ presence on the Water Street on-ramp, MPD was forced to close the I-10 exits at Water Street westbound and Exit 26B eastbound. These closures led to traffic disruptions on I-10. In particular, commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials were forced to make a 19.5 mile detour to avoid the George C. Wallace Tunnel.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.