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Law & the Courts

Judge Sets Bail at $1 Million Each for Lancaster Rioters

(Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

Rioting in Lancaster, Pa. in the wake of the police shooting of a knife-wielding man has led to the arrest of 12 adults and one minor, nine of whom are being held at Lancaster County Jail on $1 million bail each.

The arrests happened during a riot around 3 a.m. Monday that saw demonstrators marching from the scene of the shooting to the police station while throwing glass bottles, rocks, bricks, gallon jugs filled with liquid and plastic road barricades at police, authorities said. A county vehicle was also damaged.

An officer fatally shot 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz on Sunday afternoon while responding to a call that Munoz, who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was becoming aggressive with his mother and was attempting to break into her house, the Lancaster City Bureau of Police said.

After the officer responded to the call at 4:15 p.m., body-cam footage released by the department shows a woman fleeing the house while Munoz is yelling inside. The video then shows Munoz running out of the house holding a knife before the officer shoots him several times and the 27-year-old falls to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Twelve adults arrested in the rioting face a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges, including arson, riot, institutional vandalism and criminal conspiracy. One defendant, 23-year-old Yoshua Dwayne Montague also faces a charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

Magisterial District Judge Bruce A. Roth set bail for nine of the defendants – Montague; Jamal Shariff Newman, 24; Barry Jones, 30; Matthew Modderman, 31; Talia Gessner, 18; Kathryn Patterson, 20; Taylor Enterline, 20; T-Jay Fry, 28; Dylan Davis, 28 – at $1 million each. Court records show all were unable to post bail, according to Fox News.

Lancaster Stands Up, a social justice advocacy group, said Patterson and Enterline were working as “medics” at the protest when they were arrested.

“The absurdly high bail amounts indicate that what we’re seeing is not a measured pursuit of justice, but a politically motivated attack on the movement for police reform and accountability,” the group said in a tweet.

The group then called on elected officials “to step in and defend Taylor, Kathryn and other peaceful protesters against the politically motivated actions of local law enforcement, prosecutors and judges.”

Police also arrested a 16-year-old boy, who faces charges of rioting, disorderly conduct, possession of instruments of crime, possession of a small amount of marijuana, propulsion of missiles onto a roadway and institutional vandalism.

Protests in the city continued into Monday evening, but remained peaceful, according to PennLive.com.

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