Three Men Face Federal Arson Charges For Setting Fire To Police Patrol Vehicle During Protest In Downtown Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Three men were arrested Wednesday and charged today for conspiring to and setting fire to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department patrol vehicle during a protest in Las Vegas, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Tyree Walker (23), Devarian Haynes (23), and Ricardo Densmore (24), all of Las Vegas, were each charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit arson and one count of arson. The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brenda Weksler on June 5, 2020.
“Agitators who are using the camouflage of lawful protests to commit violence against law enforcement will be prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Violence places protesters, first responders, and bystanders in danger, and steals focus away from the messages that peaceful protesters are striving to deliver.”
“Any individual that is engaging in an act of arson is engaging in extremely dangerous behavior,” said Special Agent in Charge Gorman for ATF. “In addition to the destruction of property, acts of arson put the lives of the public at great risk. ATF takes these acts of violence very seriously and is working alongside our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to protect the public and uphold the rule of law. We will continue to work diligently to ensure the safety of the community and prevent incidents like this from occurring.”
The criminal complaint alleges that, shortly after midnight on May 31, 2020, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue responded to a fire involving a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) patrol vehicle. The patrol vehicle was parked near the intersection of South Ninth St. and East Carson Avenue, during protests relating to Mr. Floyd’s death. A social media video captured the event, leading LVMPD investigators to Walker, Haynes, and Densmore. The video, which was filmed by Densmore, showed Haynes pouring a flammable liquid from a gas can through a broken or missing front passenger side window of the patrol vehicle. Walker lit an object to ignite the liquid, and then Haynes dropped the gas can into the patrol vehicle. All three defendants fled when they heard sirens from an approaching LVMPD vehicle.
If convicted, Walker, Haynes, and Densmore each face: (a) a mandatory minimum sentence of five years; (b) a mandatory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and (c) up to a $250,000 fine. The minimum and maximum statutory sentences are prescribed by Congress, and are provided here for informational purposes only. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was the product of an investigation by the ATF, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, and the FBI-led Criminal Apprehension Team in conjunction with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Cartier-Giroux and Stephanie Ihler are prosecuting the case.