Lancaster, PA – Nine of the rioters accused of wreaking havoc in the downtown area in the wake of an officer-involved shooting are being held on $1 million bail apiece.
Jamal Shariff Newman, 24, Barry Jones, 30, Yoshua Dwayne Montague, 23, Matthew Modderman, 31, Talia Gessner, 18, Kathryn Patterson, 20, Taylor Enterline, 20, T-Jay Fry, 28, and Dylan Davis, 28, have been charged with multiple offenses, including criminal conspiracy, institutional vandalism, riot, and arson, the New York Post reported.
Magisterial District Judge Bruce Roth set their bail at $1 million each.
Court records indicated that none of the nine accused rioters have been able to come up with the funds to get out of the Lancaster County Prison, the New York Post reported.
Three other adults – Frank Gaston, 43, Lee Alexander Wise, 29, and Jessica Lopez, 32 – were also arrested in connection with the violent riots, as well as a 16-year-old boy.
Gaston is being held on an additional probation violation detainer, while Montague faces an additional charge of illegal possession of a firearm, the New York Post reported.
Lancaster Stands Up blasted the high bail amounts in a series of tweets on Monday, and claimed that Enterline was arrested “for participating as a medic” in the anti-police protests.
The group said that Enterline and Patterson were “serving as medics” when police “charged at them with guns drawn.”
“Taylor, Kathryn, and the other protest participants who were arrested in Lancaster were demanding reform of a policing system that led to the killing of a young man in crisis after his family called for help,” Lancaster Stands Up declared.
The “young man in crisis” was shot while chasing an officer with a knife raised over his head.
The group said they have noticed “a pattern of highly unusual arrests and prosecutorial strategies in Lancaster County that appear to indicate local police, prosecutors, and judges are closing ranks and targeting young advocates for social justice who have been calling for police reform.”
“The absurdly high bail amounts indicate that what we’re seeing is not a measured pursuit of justice, but a politically motivated attack on the movement for police reform and accountability,” Lancaster Stands Up alleged.
The group called on city leaders to “step in and defend” the “peaceful protesters against the politically motivated actions of local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges.”
Hundreds of rioters smashed out the windows of the Lancaster Police Department (LPD) and attacked officers with glass bottles and road barricades following the Sept. 13 death of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz.
The officer discharged his duty weapon as Munoz closed in on him with a large knife.
Police released bodycam footage of the unprovoked attack on the officer just hours after the fatal shooting, but rioters had already converged at the scene to denounce the officer’s use of deadly force.
Black Lives Matter protest organizers declared that Munoz was an unarmed black teen who was the victim of police brutality, according to The Post Millennial.
The encounter between LPD and Munoz began at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, when Lancaster police were dispatched to the 300-block of Laurel Street for a report of a domestic disturbance, Lancaster Online reported.
The caller reported that Munoz was being aggressive with his mother and trying to force his way into her home, police said.
Bodycam footage showed one of the officers as he walked down the sidewalk towards the woman’s home.
Moments later, the front door of a house began to open, and a woman on the other side began yelling at someone inside the residence, the video showed.
She suddenly scrambled out of the house – closing the door behind her – as a man yelled out from somewhere in the home.
“Get back, get back,” the officer told the woman, as he also stepped away from the front porch slightly.
The woman was barely clear of the entryway when the door flew open again and Munoz came out of the home with a knife raised above his head, heading directly for the officer, the video showed.
Officer tried to run away, but the knife-wielding attacker quickly closed in on him.
He was just feet away when the officer fired his duty weapon, hitting him multiple times.
Munoz immediately collapsed to the ground, dropping his knife onto the pavement, the video showed.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, Lancaster Online reported.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, according to police.
The LPD has also launched an internal investigation “to make sure policy and training and use of force was properly followed and established,” LPD Chief Jarrad Berkihiser told Lancaster Online.
The officer who shot Munoz has been placed on administrative leave, as per protocol.
“Any loss of life, regardless of how it happened, is devastating,” Chief Berkihiser told reporters on Sunday night. “It’s devastating for everybody involved. It’s devastating for our police department, the families and our community.”
Munoz was no stranger to the Lancaster Police Department (LPD), police said.
Officers also arrested him in March of 2019 for allegedly stabbing three adults and a child, the Patriot-News reported.
When officers arrived at the scene of that incident, they found Munoz standing out on the sidewalk, gripping a knife, according to police.
He allegedly held the blade to his own throat when he saw the officers approaching.
Munoz ignored their commands to drop the knife and attempted to retreat into a home at one point, but was tased and taken into custody on four counts of aggravated assault, the Patriot-News reported.
Officers found three adults inside the residence suffering from multiple slash and stab wounds, according to police.
They also found a 16-year-old boy who had been stabbed in the face, ankle, thigh, and torso, the Patriot-News reported.
The stabbing victims all survived the attack, according to the Gateway Pundit.
It is unclear what became of the charges Munoz faced in connection with the 2019 assaults.
Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams urged the community to remain calm in a press release just hours after the officer-involved shooting, The Morning Call reported.
“We ask that acts of protest remain peaceful as violence and destruction of property will become headlines and serve no purpose for the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and neighborhoods,” Adams implored.
The mob spent the night smashing out the windows of LPD, the post office, and multiple private vehicles and patrol cars, WGAL reported.
Rioters ignited fires in the middle of the street and attacked police with liquid-filled gallon jugs, glass bottles, and portions of plastic road barricades during the violent uprisings, according to The Morning Call.
Looters broke into at least one business and took off with merchandise, according to a witness’s tweet.
They even pulled up bricks surrounding the base of trees lining the sidewalk and hurled them at the police station and the post office, WGAL reported.
The group converged on the access ramp on the west side of the LPD and locked arms at one point during the night.
Officers dressed in riot gear deployed OC gas to disperse the crowd, so some members of the group started tossing canisters back at police, Lancaster Online reported.
“A public address system was used to provide several warnings that if the group did not move from the ramp that chemical munitions would be deployed,” the LPD said in a press release. “The group failed to follow the instructions and chemical agents were used to disperse the crowd.”
The mob dispersed briefly before reconvening outside the police station once again.
They used trash cans, debris and various road signs to barricade the roadway and smashed out the windows of multiple vehicles during the night, according to Lancaster Online.
“Members of the crowd damaged a county vehicle parked in the front of the police station,” LPD confirmed. “Bricks were thrown through the front of the police station and into the post office window.”
City crews spent hours cleaning up the downtown area after the mob dispersed early Monday morning, WGAL reported.