TRENTON, NJ -- The FBI has arrested two men for allegedly attempting to set fire to a marked police vehicle following the May 2020 protests in Trenton, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced Thursday.
The arrests stem from large-scale protests that were held throughout the United States, including in Trenton, in response to the death of George Floyd who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Although the protest in Trenton was peaceful earlier in the day, violence erupted as night fell. A group of individuals proceeded down East State Street and began to smash widows, loot stores, and attack multiple marked Trenton Police Department vehicles.
Killian F. Melecio, 20, Columbus, and Kadeem A. Dockery, 29, Trenton, were arrested by FBI special agents. Each are charged with one count of attempting to damage or destroy by fire a vehicle owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance, and one count of attempting to damage or destroy by fire a vehicle used in and affecting interstate commerce.
Both counts carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
A street camera and other video footage recorded Dockery allegedly lighting an explosive device and throw it through the open front driver’s side window of a Trenton Police Department vehicle. Dockery then removed his shirt and handed it to Melecio, who allegedly attempted to stuff the shirt in the gas tank of the police vehicle and ignite it.
Melecio was assisted by Justin D. Spry, 21, South Plainfield, who was charged in a criminal complaint on June 2, for his role in the riot. Law enforcement officers on scene observed Spry as he attempted to ignite the vehicle. Melecio fled, and Spry attempted to flee, but was arrested.
During the course of Spry’s arrest, Dockery allegedly lit another explosive device and threw it over the Trenton Police vehicle at the arresting officers, where it exploded at their feet. Law enforcement identified Melecio and Dockery through their distinctive tattoos seen on the video footage.
Melecio and Dockery appeared by video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni. Dockery was released; Melecio was detained pending a bail hearing.
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