Riverside police have arrested a man they state lit a firecracker and tossed it at protesters in Riverside, California this month, only to have the incendiary device thrown back into his nearby vehicle and explode.
Protests and riots erupted in May after a cop was caught on tape with his knee on the neck of a man later identified as George Floyd.
This incident took place on 1 June. Police say the Riverside protesters acted peacefully before the violence started taking place later in the day. Officers fired tear gas and “rubber” bullets to deal with the crowd. A Thursday news release from the Riverside Police Department stated that fireworks also exploded among officers and protesters.
A video of the incident shared by police starts with a sedan parked in an intersection. People can be seen arguing on both sides of the vehicle. The driver steps out of the car and places a lit firework mortar at the feet of two people, who run away.
Other demonstrators rush toward the vehicle, and one picks up the lit firecracker, tossing it into the car. A woman in the passenger gets out, while another person in the back seat was locked inside.
The vehicle fills with white smoke and then a burst of light. Red and green sparks shoot inside and outside of the vehicle, and it starts to roll backward with the windshield wipers slowing swaying. As the video ends, a crowd descends on the car.
Police arrested Gabriel Castillo, 20, of Perris, whom they allege of lighting the firework.
Officials say that Castillo and onlookers assaulted the individual who threw the firecracker into the car, but the released video, which cuts out after 24 seconds, and has not shown any attack.
Castillo, who was arrested Tuesday during a probation search, is currently being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.