SALT LAKE CITY — A federal complaint unsealed Tuesday shows a fourth person is charged with arson in connection with the torching of a Salt Lake City Police Department patrol car during a May 30 riot.
Lateesha Richards, aka Lateesha Kahryn Ritchards, 24, made her initial appearance in court via Zoom on Wednesday, a news release from The United States Attorney's Office District of Utah said.
"Video footage from the riot shows an individual, later identified by police as Richards, holding a cell phone in her right hand as she walks toward the overturned police car. Richards is then observed taking a selfie with the burning police car as the background," the news release said. "Richards walked away from the patrol car momentarily and then returned to the patrol car holding what appears to be an item of clothing in her right hand. The complaint alleges she bent down facing the burning patrol car and tossed the item onto the small flames before running away."
The clothing is believed to have helped the fire spread by acting as kindling. Investigators identified Richards based on her driver license photo, a booking photo and a neck tattoo, according to the complaint.
"Federal arson charges in the case are also pending against Jackson Stuart Tamowski Patton, 26, Latroi Devon Newbins, 28, and Christopher Rojas, 28, all of Salt Lake City, who were charged earlier. Patton remains in custody. Newbins and Rojas have been released on conditions of pretrial release," the news release said.