What to Know
- Sebastian Manuel Romero, 19, is facing charges for inciting a riot and felony criminal mischief related to a May 30 protest
- Police said Romero was part of the protest that went from peaceful to hostile and led to a marked police car being damaged
- The vehicle was damaged with a cooler and eventually engulfed in flames
A man accused of damaging a Miami Police Department car during a protest in late May has been arrested, authorities said Monday.
Sebastian Manuel Romero, 19, is facing charges for inciting a riot and felony criminal mischief in the May 30 incident, police officials said.
Police said Romero was part of a protest held at the Miami Police Department over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that went from peaceful to hostile.
Video footage posted on social media showed a man wearing a black t-shirt, black backpack, and a Venezuelan flag-themed cap using a blue cooler to shatter the front and rear windshields and to damage the hood and trunk of a parked City of Miami Police vehicle, police said.
Other suspects soon joined in, and the vehicle was ultimately fully engulfed in flames.
Officials said the car was assigned to a Miami Police Academy instructor who trains police officers in de-escalation techniques. The vandalism and fire caused about $2,300 worth of damage, police said.
Detectives identified the man in the Venezuela hat as Romero, and he was arrested at his new home in Weeki Wachee on Friday, officials said.
Romero has been extradited to Miami to face the charges. Attorney information wasn't available.
"To date, Miami Police detectives have apprehended seven suspects responsible for lawless behavior that has nothing to do with peaceful protest," the department said in a statement. "We value peaceful protest as a cherished constitutional right, but we will not tolerate violence and acts of vandalism, and we will hold those engaging in such behavior accountable."
At a news conference Monday, Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said more arrest are coming.
“There’s another subject that we’ve already identified. We won’t release that information just yet because we’re actively seeking that person out to arrest them. This is a person that attacked one of our officers. That’s an arrest that we hope to be making soon,” said Chief Colina.