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A second person has been arrested in the fires set during protests at the Market House in downtown Fayetteville, police officials announced. Andrew Garcia-Smith of Fayetteville was arrested by Fayetteville Police Department and ATF Special Agents for his alleged role in the fires set on May 30.

Garcia-Smith had been hospitalized with burn injuries sustained in the fire, an incident that was widely seen in videos circulating across social media. He is the second individual charged in connection to the fires at the Market House, as Charles Anthony Pittman was arrested on Federal charges on June 5.

According to the complaint from U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Garcia Smith is being charged with “one count of maliciously damaging property owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance.”

“According to the complaint, on May 30, 2020, several individuals set fire to the Market House in downtown Fayetteville.  During the period of civil unrest, a Facebook Live video showed a male with long hair pulled into a bun, later identified as Garcia-Smith, picking up a bottle of burning liquid and throwing it into the Market House’s door,” the release from Higdon’s office said. “As Garcia-Smith threw the bottle, a portion of the burning liquid spilled back onto him, causing his hair and clothes to catch on fire.  ATF special agents later identified Garcia-Smith as the suspect from the video when he reported to a local hospital with burn injuries shortly after the violent protest.”

If convicted, Garcia-Smith faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years, with up to 40 years maximum, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Thursday, Fayetteville Police released 114 security camera photos of alleged looters at the Walmart on Skibo Road that same night, asking for the public’s help in identifying individuals.

 

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Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.