A man previously accused of setting a Chicago police SUV on fire downtown amid the rioting last May has been charged in federal court.
Jacob Fagundo, 23, of Chicago is accused in a one-page charging document of obstructing law enforcement amid civil disorder May 30. The bare-bones document, filed Tuesday, offers no additional detail.
The document used to charge Fagundo is known as an information, which is typically a sign a defendant intends to plead guilty. An attorney for Fagundo could not immediately be reached.
Cook County prosecutors last year accused Fagundo of setting the police SUV on fire May 30 on Lower Michigan Avenue. They said he turned himself in after police released surveillance images from the incident and Fagundo was recognized.
Fagundo’s lawyer said at the time that Fagundo had gone downtown to protest the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and to stand in solidarity with others protesting police brutality.
“I’m convinced that even if [Fagundo] did do these offenses … he set out on that day with a pure heart and the most honorable of intentions,” attorney Robert Kerr said then.
Video surveillance cameras recorded several people breaking windows of the police SUV while it was parked about 7 p.m., prosecutors said at the time.
A man alleged to be Fagundo — wearing paint-splattered clothes and a dark hooded sweatshirt — could be seen taking an item out of his backpack and throwing it into the battered SUV, setting it aflame, prosecutors said. They added that several police officers had personal items inside the vehicle.
Surveillance cameras tracked the person as he walked away from the scene and removed his hood. The cameras also captured his unique arm tattoos, prosecutors said.
Another man, 31-year-old Timothy O’Donnell of Pilsen, has also been charged in federal court with torching a CPD SUV the same day while wearing a Joker mask.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that, while some federal cases stemming from last year’s riots are already leading to guilty pleas and sentencings, investigations into the rioting continue.
Federal prosecutors in early March also leveled a rarely filed charge against James Massey of Chicago, accusing him of using a facility of interstate commerce to incite a riot during a second round of unrest in August. And in February, they charged three people with setting fire to a CTA van May 30.
Contributing: Matthew Hendrickson