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Protester sentenced for attempt to set police car on fire

June 28, 2021 GMT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A man who tried to set a police vehicle on fire last year during a protest against racial injustice in Trenton after the killing of George Floyd was sentenced Monday to more than two years in prison.

Killian Melecio, 20, of Columbus, had pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct, impede, or interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, according to federal prosecutors. He received a 28-month sentence and will have to serve three years of supervised release once he’s freed from prison.

Melecio was among a group of men who tried to set the police vehicle on fire during a May 31, 2020 protest.

Prosecutors have said one man lit an explosive device and threw it through the open front driver’s side window of the vehicle. He then removed his shirt and gave it to Melecio, who tried to stuff it in the gas tank of the vehicle and ignite it, getting assistance from a third man.

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The third man was arrested at the scene, but Melecio and the other man fled the scene. Both were arrested a few days later after authorities identified them from video from a street camera and other images.

The two other men charged with Melecio both pleaded guilty to similar charges and will be sentenced later this year.