Utah man pleads guilty to role in setting SLCPD car on fire

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Posted at 5:00 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 19:23:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY — One person has pleaded guilty to his role in the destruction of a Salt Lake City Police car last year.

On May 30, 2020, a protest against police brutality and racial injustice began peacefully, then escalated into a riot. At one point, a group of protesters swarmed a SLCPD vehicle downtown with an officer inside. She escaped with the help of a fellow officer before the crowd flipped the car onto its roof. After being kicked, spray-painted and hit with various objects, a fire was started inside the overturned patrol car.

Several people have been charged in connection with the incident. Jackson Patton, 27, was the first person arrested. He was charged with arson in federal court after police said he was caught on video tossing a combustible substance onto the fire, causing it to grow.

Jackson Patton
Jackson Stuart Tamowski Patton

On Friday, Patton pleaded guilty to a felony charge of civil disorder. It carries a possible sentence of up to five years in federal prison, a $2,500 fine, and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced Aug. 11, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As part of the plea deal, Patton admitted to intentionally "obstructing, impeding, and interfering with law enforcement." He also admitted to "moving a burning cloth into the interior of the overturned patrol car."