Brian Bartels, 20, has been taken into police custody — courtesy of his mom and dad — for his alleged efforts to incite riots in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“Pittsburgh Police say 20 year old Brian Bartels is the man who incited riots in downtown #Pittsburgh yesterday,” Pittsburgh KDKA reporter Tim Williams tweeted on Sunday night, announcing that an arrest warrant had been issued. Embedded in the tweet was a video showing Bartels allegedly destroying a police cruiser.
#BREAKING NEWS: Pittsburgh Police say 20 year old Brian Bartels is the man who incited riots in downtown #Pittsburgh yesterday. This is video taken of him destroying a police cruiser. An arrest warrant has been issued. https://t.co/AFYsrV2vsD
*WARNING* Explicit Language pic.twitter.com/CNmoVHx7Fn
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) June 1, 2020
By Monday evening, KDKA was reporting that Bartels had been brought into custody — by his parents. “The Antifa kid who police say incited riot in Pittsburgh has been arrested and watching him turn himself in with mommy and daddy is the absolute greatest thing on the internet today,” said Jason Howerton, including a video from the aforementioned local news station.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an anonymous co-worker identified Bartels. When authorities searched his home, they allegedly found a stash that included two guns and six cans of spray paint, as well as gloves and the sweatshirt that the suspect had allegedly been wearing during the protest. While his attire seemingly caused Howerton to label him an “Antifa kid,” there has been no confirmation of Bartels’ affiliation with the group.
The Antifa kid who police say incited riot in Pittsburgh has been arrested and watching him turn himself in with mommy and daddy is the absolute greatest thing on the internet today.pic.twitter.com/pTZUPV9XZL
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) June 1, 2020
Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert expressed his anger and dismay at the way otherwise peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd were “hijacked” by agitators. “I am so angry at the fact that some segment hijacked this and then took some of the youth and brought them into the mix,” Schubert said, continuing:
There’s no doubt that that’s who’s doing it and a lot of things we’re seeing are white males, dressed in the anarchist, ANTIFA, they’re ones who are fueling a lot of this. It’s just a damn shame that they took advantage of the situation, for something, something happened in another state where somebody died who shouldn’t have died, and they hijacked that message for their own.
He ended the statement with a public commitment to ensure accountability for the crimes committed. “We will look at every video that we have, and we will do everything we can with our technology to find the ones who are responsible for a lot of this,” he said.