The anti-fascist protest group known as antifa took a blow to its ranks over the weekend, when parents of a 20-year-old who resembled a member of their group escorted their son to a police station.
Brian Bartels had destroyed a police SUV over the weekend in Pittsburgh, spray painting it and setting it alight, turning what was a peaceful protest into a riot, reported The Blaze.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported police had received a tip that Bartels had vandalized the police vehicle, and a search of his home discovered guns, spray paint cans, gloves, and the antifa-like sweatshirt he was suspected of wearing during the vandalism.
A video that identified a young white male destroying the police car surfaced, and a woman can be seen attempting to stop him from smashing the windows, but he continued on his rampage, after flicking her the bird.
#BREAKING NEWS: Pittsburgh Police say 20 year old Brian Bartels is the man who incited riots in downtown #Pittsburgh yesterday. This is video taken of him destroying a police cruiser. An arrest warrant has been issued. https://t.co/AFYsrV2vsD
*WARNING* Explicit Language pic.twitter.com/CNmoVHx7Fn
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) June 1, 2020
The Antifa kid who police say incited riot in Pittsburgh has been arrested and watching him turn himself in with mommy and daddy is the absolute greatest thing on the internet today.pic.twitter.com/pTZUPV9XZL
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) June 1, 2020
Although no official link has been discovered between Bartels and antifa, one tweet by Jason Howerton has tagged him as the “Antifa kid,” which is sure to stick.
It has been reported that in Pittsburg over the weekend of May 30-31 60 businesses were vandalized with other places also targeted, and 44 arrests were made.
Police believe Bartels’s actions turned the protests into a riot at about 4:30 p.m., when he targeted the police car, dressed in antifa-style attire.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert during a news conference called it a “damn shame” that Antifa-like agitators were using the protest to turn Americans against each other.
“I am so angry at the fact that some segment hijacked this and then took some of the youth and brought them into the mix,” Schubert said. “There’s no doubt that that’s who’s doing it and a lot of things we’re seeing are white males, dressed in the anarchist, ANTIFA, they’re ones who are fueling a lot of this. It’s just a damn shame that they took advantage of the situation, for something, something happened in another state where somebody died who shouldn’t have died, and they hijacked that message for their own.”