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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 29, 2021

Two Sentenced to Prison for Destroying Police Vehicle During May 30, 2020, Pittsburgh Protest

PITTSBURGH, PA - Two residents of Allegheny County, PA, have been sentenced in federal court to prison terms on their convictions of conspiring to set fire to a police vehicle during the downtown riot on May 30, 2020, and on a related charge of unlawful interference with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder on that same day, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan imposed a 27-month sentence on Da’Jon Lengyel, 24, of McKees Rocks, PA 15136, and a 48-month sentence on Christopher West, 26, Pittsburgh, PA 15210.

According to information presented to the court, Lengyel and West attended a protest march held on May 30, 2020, in the downtown Pittsburgh area. The march was related primarily to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The march in Pittsburgh began at approximately 2:30 pm on Liberty Avenue in the downtown area, and eventually finished at approximately 4:30 pm on Centre Avenue near the intersection with Washington Place above the PPG Paints Arena. At that time, one man in the crowd spray painted and broke a window out of a police vehicle that was unoccupied and parked on Centre Avenue. Shortly thereafter, Lengyel and West climbed onto the vehicle, and then jumped up and down on the roof of the vehicle. West also sat on the roof and attempted to kick out a window of the vehicle. Lengyel and West, along with several other individuals, then began efforts to set fire to the vehicle. As one unidentified person set the fire in the backseat area of the vehicle, West and Lengyel placed pieces of cardboard and crumpled paper into the vehicle’s passenger compartment to provide more fuel to the fire. The police vehicle was completely destroyed as a result of the fire.

Assistant United States Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Lengyel and West.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated November 1, 2021