Pair plead guilty to damaging Utah police car in protest
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two men charged with helping to flip and damage a police car at a Utah demonstration that devolved into a riot have admitted to criminal charges.
Connor Matthew Peebles, 21, and 19-year-old Ian Eric Nightingale pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal mischief, a second-degree felony, The Deseret News reported.
The pleas entered in 3rd District Court were part of a deal with prosecutors, who originally charged the pair with first-degree felony counts of criminal mischief under a gang enhancement.
No jail time was ordered for either of the men. Both entered pleas in abeyance, meaning their charges will be reduced to misdemeanors if they successfully complete three years of probation.
The judge also sentenced each of them to 100 hours of community service and ordered them to each pay $2,000 fines and $700 for damages caused to the car.
Nightingale, of South Jordan, and Peebles, a Michigan resident, turned themselves in as detectives began investigating the riot during which an overturned patrol car was set ablaze May 30.
Authorities charged 13 people in connection with the car damage.
Charging documents said a Salt Lake police officer was driving a marked patrol car near the Salt Lake Main Library when people protesting the killing of George Floyd “surrounded the car and began pounding on the windows.”
After other officers pulled the officer from her patrol car, several people flipped the vehicle onto its hood. Video collected by police shows Nightingale “using a skateboard to smash out the rear window of the patrol car once it has been turned over,” court documents said.
Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground. His death prompted protests across the U.S. and around the world against police brutality and racial injustice.