CRIME

Hill AFB airman to face charges related to burned police car

Aug 19, 2020, 4:34 PM | Updated: 5:02 pm
400 S road closed weekend protests salt lake city police chief response violent protests charged bu...
An up-close view of the remains of the burned police car near 400 S. and 200 E. Photo: Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com, via Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY — An airman at Hill Air Force Base faces federal arson charges related to a burned Salt Lake City police car during protests that turned violent in May.

Larry Williams, 22, of West Haven, becomes the fifth person charged with arson involving the police car. 

US Attorney for Utah John Huber detailed the charges against Williams in a federal complaint unsealed Wednesday. 

A Hill AFB connection to the police car

Members of the FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Williams Wednesday in connection with the burned police car, with assistance from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Hill Air Force Base.

Huber said Williams was wearing a gas mask during the protest, issued by his employer — Hill AFB.

gas mask hill police car arson

Photo provided by the office of the US Attorney for Utah, John Huber.

“Since May 30, investigators and prosecutors have engaged in a determined investigation of those who were responsible for burning the police patrol car in downtown Salt Lake City,” Huber said in a news release. “Our intent has been to bring consequence to the lawlessness that we witnessed. While available video and photographs played a prominent role in the investigation, solid investigative efforts by agents and detectives made the difference in these arrests.”

According to the complaint, video shows Williams holding fabric in place for another man, Christopher Rojas to burn. Video then shows him throwing the burning material into the window of the police car. 

Identification of suspects

Investigators identified Williams in part because of the gas mask he allegedly wore. A lot number on a gas canister assigned to Williams at Hill matched that observed in photos and video of the police car burning. 

Williams will have his first court appearance on the arson charge Thursday. 

Four other people, Jackson Patton, Latroi Newbins, Christopher Rojas and Lateesha Richards, all of Salt Lake City, also face federal arson charges in the case. 

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Hill AFB airman to face charges related to burned police car