20-Year-Old Accused Of Destroying Pittsburgh Police Car During Riots Pleads Guilty

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A 20-year-old who federal prosecutors call a “self-identified left-wing anarchist” has pleaded guilty to obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder in connection with the downtown Pittsburgh riots.

On May 30, Brian Bartels allegedly spray painting the letter “A” on a Pittsburgh Police cruiser before jumping on the hood of the car, spraying more paint on it and stomping the windshield.

Photo Credit: Allegheny County

That’s when federal prosecutors say several people began to join him. Bartels allegedly jumped off the hood then tried to break the passenger side window of the vehicle.

“Armed with his homemade agitator toolkit, this self-identified extreme left-wing anarchist came to the protest in downtown Pittsburgh that day with one goal: to incite violence. Bartels succeeded – he was the first to incite violence during the protest,” said U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.

Photo Credit: City of Pittsburgh Police

“While protesters yelled for him to stop, Bartels spray painted and then smashed and jumped on the windshield of a Pittsburgh Police cruiser. Others then joined in and the cruiser was set on fire and destroyed.”

His sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 27. He could face up to five years in prison.

*story by CBS Pittsburgh