WILMINGTON – A federal grand jury returned indictments Wednesday charging two Fayetteville men with the arson of the City of Fayetteville’s Market House, a National Historic Landmark, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Dept. of Justice of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
According to the indictments, Charles Anthony Pittman, 32, and Andrew Salvarani Garcia-Smith, 32, took part in the burning of the Market House on May 30 after the peaceful protests earlier that day over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Several local news outlets filmed Pittman carrying around a red gasoline container on the second story of the Market House, according to the release. Pittman proceeded to pour the gasoline throughout the second story of the Market House, which was then set on fire. Prior to any protests, Pittman posted a video on social media discussing his plans to bring the Market House down.
Authorities identified Garcia-Smith after he reported to a local hospital with several burn injuries as a result of his actions, according to the release. Garcia-Smith threw a bottle of burning liquid into the Market House. As he did so, the burning liquid spilled back onto him, setting Garcia-Smith’s hair and clothes ablaze. A social media video of the incident went viral, as several news outlets showed Garcia-Smith running down the steps of the Market House engulfed in flames.
Pittman and Garcia-Smith are each charged with the malicious burning of a building owned or possessed by an entity receiving federal assistance. If convicted, both men face mandatory minimum sentences of seven years in prison.Share: