SALT LAKE CITY — A protester was charged Friday with vandalizing the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building and another man was charged with using pepper spray on a police officer. Both occurred during the May 30 downtown riot.
A large group of protesters gathered that day on the police department’s plaza, 475 S. 300 East, and several broke windows and defaced the building with graffiti.
During that time, Brayan D. Rosales Villegas, 20, and an unidentified man climbed onto the roof of the Public Safety Building and “began spray-painting anti-police slogans over the entryway,” according to charging documents.
At least three people, including Villegas, also smashed windows around the building, the charges state. Total damage to the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building was estimated to be $188,000.
Villegas, of West Valley City, is charged in 3rd District Court with criminal mischief, a first-degree felony, and rioting, a third-degree felony.
Erick de los Santos Andrade, 18, of Ogden, was also charged in 3rd District Court Friday with rioting, a third-degree felony, and assaulting a police officer, a class A misdemeanor.
That officer drove to Salt Lake City in a marked Unified police car to assist in controlling the crowd. After parking his car to help a small group of officers “being screamed at by protesters,” he returned to his vehicle to find “at least one of the protesters had smashed his windshield,” according to charging documents.
The officer then drove his damaged car to another location, parked it, and helped a line of officers trying to disperse a large crowd. While there, the officer was hit with a hammer that was thrown by one of the protesters, the charges state.
The officer stayed at his post until Andrade approached him and deployed pepper spray in his eyes, according to the charges. The officer “was unable to see and had to be transported to another area for medical treatment.”
The officer later reviewed his body camera video and he and a Salt Lake officer were able to identify Andrade.
As police continue to review surveillance video from that night, additional people are expected to be arrested.
Earlier this week, a 13th person was charged with flipping over a Salt Lake police patrol car and vandalizing it during that protest.