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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 8, 2021

Man Who Set Fire to Chicago Police Vehicle During Civil Unrest Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

CHICAGO — A man admitted in federal court today that he threw a lit firework into a Chicago Police vehicle during a period of civil unrest in downtown Chicago last May.

JACOB MICHAEL FAGUNDO, 23, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a law enforcement officer during the commission of a civil disorder.  The charge is punishable by up to five years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman set sentencing for July 14, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The Chicago Fire Department provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Cooke.

Fagundo admitted in a plea agreement that on the evening of May 30, 2020, he and other individuals approached the unoccupied CPD vehicle in a garage at 30 E. Kinzie St. in the city’s River North neighborhood.  After Fagundo and the other individuals shattered the vehicle’s rear windshield, Fagundo lit a firework and threw it through the open window, the plea agreement states.  The vehicle became engulfed in flames and the Chicago Fire Department was called to extinguish the blaze. 

CPD officers had parked the vehicle in the garage while engaged in their official duties during a period of civil disorder in the city.  In addition to setting fire to the vehicle, Fagundo spray-painted another Chicago Police vehicle earlier in the day, the plea agreement states.

Fagundo admitted that he bought the fireworks, lighter fluid, and other products a day earlier at a department store in Chicago so that he could bring them to the planned protests downtown.

Updated April 8, 2021