5 people accused of damaging, burning Pittsburgh police car during protests

Police vehicle set on fire during violent protests in downtown Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Five people who were charged in connection with the burning of Pittsburgh police cars during protests downtown appeared in court for the first time Friday.

Each person faces various charges connected to that incident that happened near PPG Paints Arena on May 30, which was the first day of large protests in the Pittsburgh area responding to the death of George Floyd.

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Authorities issued arrest warrants for Robert Redman, Da’jon Lengyel, Shaheed Hatch, Cameron Guetta and Khalena Connolly-Wack in the months following the protest that turned violent. All five are facing charges from rioting to criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and vandalism.

It’s important to note that these cases are all state-level, as the Pa.'s charges will be carried out before any court action begins at the federal level, officials said.

According to police criminal complaints, this is what each person is accused of doing during the protest that prompted warrants for their arrest.

  • Connolly-Wack: Jumping on the hood of a marked police car, smashing the hood
  • Guetta: After taking part in the crowd that “attacked” and overran mounted officers, punching and kicking a marked cop car
  • Hatch: Wearing a police orange life vest and using metal pole from stop sign to smash open police car windows, pouring liquid into the vehicle moments before it was set on fire
  • Lengyel: Swinging a traffic cone through the window of a marked police car, causing further damage
  • Redman: Smashing a cop car with a baseball bat and skateboard, spraying graffiti on I-279 bridge pillar

Officials said three of them waived all charges to court: Guetta, Lengyel and Redman. Meanwhile, Hatch waived all charges except for “risking a catastrophe,” which was withdrawn by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

The preliminary hearing for Connolly-Wack was postponed to Sept. 23 at the request of her attorneys.

$5,000 reward: Help needed to ID people who set fire to Pittsburgh police vehicles during protest