State Watch

Man who threw Molotov cocktail at Democratic Party headquarters in Austin charged with arson

A man who attempted to attack a Texas county’s Democratic Party headquarters earlier this week was arrested and charged with arson on Friday.

Katie Naranjo, chair of Travis County Democratic Party, told reporters on Wednesday that the man, who was wearing a bandana with the American flag on it, had tried to use a Molotov cocktail to damage the office building.

Naranjo also described a threatening note that the suspect left at the scene that was “political in nature.”

Following a tip from an informant, police detained 30-year-old Ryan Faircloth in connection to the incident. Faircloth left an incriminating post on his Facebook page, matching the note found at the scene, that directed the informant to police, according to a local NBC affiliate station.

Faircloth was also reportedly captured on surveillance video walking near the building around 2:00 a.m. with a bottle in his hand. The video shows him, with his face covered in an American flag, throw the bottle towards the building, sparking a fire and small explosion.

He was charged with second-degree felony arson and third-degree felony possession of a prohibited weapon. As of Friday, his bond was set at $40,000, according to a local CBS station.

If he is convicted on both of the charges, Faircloth could spend up to 30 years in prison and could be fined up to $20,000, the news outlet noted.

Cynthia Van Maanen, executive director of the Travis County Democratic Party, told Insider that she was thankful that no one was injured in the incident.

“We are grateful for our neighbors who saw the flames and acted quickly, and for the investigators who acted fast to identify and arrest the suspect,” she said. 

Tags Arson Austin Texas
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