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Man accused of vandalizing Pittsburgh police car sentenced to supervised release

PITTSBURGH — A man who pleaded guilty to vandalizing a Pittsburgh police car during the May riots over the death of George Floyd was sentenced to serve six months in a halfway house and three years of probation on Wednesday.

Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab ordered Brian Bartels, 21, of Shaler, to spend one day in the custody of the U.S. marshals before being moved to a residential re-entry program, followed by the probation sentence and $1,000 in restitution.

Bartels, 21, was sentenced after pleading guilty in September to one count of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder.

During the hearing, Bartels apologized for his actions, saying, at the time, that he felt hopeless, angry and frustrated, according to our partners at The Trib.

“I understand why I’m here. I know people have been hurt because of me. I know people lost money because of me,” he said. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. I made a stupid mistake, and people had to pay for it.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun Sweeney told the court that Bartels went to the protest that day prepared to damage or destroy property by taking a can of spray paint in his backpack with him.

“He made that decision before he left his house,” Sweeney said. “He chose to be the instigator for this chaos.”