Police: Videos led to arrest of inaugural rioter

WASHINGTON — Among those arrested in connection with Friday’s inaugural protests was a Florida man who allegedly threw a rock at an arresting officer.

How authorities arrested him is an example of how bystanders can help with a police investigation.

Dane Powell of Largo, Florida, was arrested Saturday and charged with assault on a police officer. Authorities said he had escaped arrest Friday afternoon after throwing rocks at officers around the intersection of 12th and K Streets.

Police later learned the protester’s identity, D.C. interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said, using “video footage from all different sources.”

“Sometimes folks will even text us videos showing images of people breaking the law,” Newsham said.

Six officers were hurt in Friday’s protests. Three were hit in the head with flying objects; one was knocked unconscious with a brick.

“Police officers shouldn’t have to face that anytime,” Newsham said. “To have people come into our city and do that, it’s unfortunate.”

When District residents “see that kind of thing and they happen to catch it on video, they share it with us,” he said, “and when we do get those things, we are going to make every effort to identify those folks and hold them responsible.”

Police, he added, will continue to review available video footage.

“If we have clear images of people and we can identify them, we’re going to proceed with charging them in the event that they broke the law,” he said.

D.C. police, Newsham said, also plan to make rioting photos public “to see if we can get some assistance from the public in identifying” protesters who were violent.

Newsham had nothing but praise for the department as D.C.’s historic weekend wrapped up. Police dealt with hundreds of thousands of people — both on Friday for President Donald Trump’s inauguration and on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how this department responded,” he said.

Anyone with video can share it with police by texting 50411 or calling 202-727-9099.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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