‘A dark day’: FBI arrests suspect for torching police car during SLC riot

Salt Lake City Protests

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) –  The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested one of the two men accused of torching a Salt Lake City Police car during a Downtown riot on May 30th. On Thursday, they announced the arrest of Christopher Isidro Rojas.

A police brutality protest suddenly turned violent that Saturday afternoon when several people surrounded an SLCPD cruiser at the intersection of 400 South and 200 East and after the officer fled, overturned it, and set it on fire.

“May 30th of 2020 was a dark day in Utah,” United States Attorney John Huber said during a news conference. “It’s a day that opportunists and extremists hijacked a peaceful protest and overran the typically safe streets of Salt Lake City.”

In the days since five people were arrested for overturning the patrol car and FBI agents sought two other men for lighting a piece of cloth and putting it inside. Agents poured over videos to capture still photos of the masked suspects and offered a reward for information on them.

“It was a responsible civilian who tipped police and the FBI as to Rojas’ identity,” Attorney Huber said.

On Friday, July 17th the Joint Terrorism Task Force caught up to the 28-year-old suspect in Salt Lake City.

“Members of the JTTF located one of those suspects Christopher Rojas as he left his apartment in Salt Lake City and got into an Uber,” FBI Special Agent Paul Haertel said. “We were able to take Rojas into custody following a traffic stop.”

Now Rojas is charged with Arson in Interstate Commerce and if convicted, could be locked up until his late 40’s.

“He now faces in Federal Court the potential if convicted of serving a minimum of five years in federal prison up to 20 years in federal prison,” Huber said.

An initial court appearance for Mr. Rojas has been scheduled for August 4th.

The FBI is still offering a $12,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the other suspect. If you know who he is, call 801-579-6192.

Emily Florez
Rick Aaron, has more than 24 years of experience in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer. Originally from Mississippi, Rick graduated with honors from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and began working at KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles.
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