Rioter from May 30 Seattle civil unrest pleads guilty to arson and possession of a stolen firearm
Defendant captured on video stealing rifle, torching car, and fighting with another protestor
Seattle – A man originally from Georgia pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to arson and possession of a stolen firearm for his conduct during civil unrest on May 30, 2020, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. TYRE WAYNE MEANS, JR., 25, faces a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison and up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on June 11, 2021.
According to records filed in the case, just after 4 p.m. on May 30, 2020, MEANS, JR., was captured on video lighting a paper towel and placing it in the back of a Seattle Police patrol car parked outside of Nordstrom on Sixth Avenue in downtown. Other persons in the crowd fed the fire with lighter fluid and other accelerants, and the vehicle was destroyed by fire. After he lit one patrol car on fire, MEANS, JR., is observed on video reaching through the destroyed rear window of a different patrol car and removing a rifle bag. MEANS, JR., opened the bag and looked inside. MEANS, JR., is seen fighting with an unidentified man who tried to retrieve the rifle bag before MEANS, JR., ran from the scene. A subsequent surveillance video on Pine Street, around the corner from where the rifle was stolen, shows MEANS, JR., in a fight with another man. While MEANS, JR., and the man are throwing punches, an unidentified man picks up the rifle bag and ultimately walks away. Later that day, the rifle was anonymously returned to the Seattle Police West Precinct.
MEANS, JR., was identified as the suspect in the video by his distinctive clothing, jewelry, tattoos, and association with a female who also had distinctive tattoos and a significant social media presence. MEANS, JR., was arrested in Bremerton, Washington, where he was meeting with his Washington State Department of Corrections probation officer.
MEANS, JR., is prohibited from possessing firearms due to two felony convictions in the state of Georgia: serious injury by vehicle and obstructing law enforcement by use of threats or violence. In Washington, MEANS, JR., has a felony conviction for domestic violence that includes a no-contact order–that order also prohibits him from possessing firearms.
Arson is punishable by a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison and up to 20 years in prison. Possession of a stolen firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Both the prosecution and defense will recommend a 5-year prison term; however, the ultimate sentence is up to Judge Jones after considering the sentencing guidelines and other factors.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the FBI and the Seattle Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.