Crime Spree During Protest
By Christopher Cook
Posted on June 02, 2020, June 02, 2020

The Arlington Police Department monitored a planned demonstration on the Center Street bridge over I.H. 20 around 4 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020. This protest was generally peaceful as officers worked to ensure the safety of all protestors as they walked around the Arlington Highlands and south retail corridor area. A few hours later, some people from this initial group relocated to Arlington City Hall to engage in a second demonstration. Initially, there appeared to be several agitators in this second group that arrived and were verbally abusive towards officers and threw objects at patrol cars and officers. Officers attempted to deescalate the situation and ensure everyone’s safety by blocking vehicular traffic at intersections so that protestors could walk around the area.

At one point, an officer blocking traffic near Cooper and Division was approached aggressively by several members from the group who threw objects at the vehicle damaging the windshield and spray painting graffiti on the car. The officer was able to reverse back and get out of the unwarranted and hostile situation unharmed. As the night went on, several members from this group walked to PD Headquarters located at 620 W. Division and burned several American flags and damaged four windows at the front of the station. There was also graffiti damage to a star statue on the front lawn of the station.

The group then marched towards the Walmart located at 915 W. Randol Mill Road which was closed. Several people began to break into the Walmart on the south side of the building and make entry. Officers swarmed the location and made four arrests. The department’s Special Response Team responded to the location to maintain order. Some suspects were able to flee the scene. Detectives will utilize surveillance video to identify those who were able to get away. The four arrested persons are:

  • Keniya Garrett of Arlington charged with Burglary of Building, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, fail to ID fugitive, and also had 9 warrants confirmed.
  • Danecia Harris of Fort Worth charged with Burglary of Building, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity
  • D’Anthony Reed of Grand Prairie charged with Burglary of Building, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity
  • Breopthilus Williams of Fort Worth charged with Burglary of Building, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

Immediately following the burglary of the retail store, a large group began to form and park in the roadway on Randol Mill in front of Walmart after receiving several lawful orders to disperse. The group eventually left the roadway and were believed to be heading to the Parks Mall area to commit criminal offenses based upon social media feeds and conversations overhead by field officers. The department was able to surge several law enforcement units to the area and prevent the Parks Mall and Highlands shopping center from being burglarized. Throughout the next hour or so, some individuals from this group began to commit various criminal offenses. One offense included burglary of the Arlington Jewelry Exchange located at 4621 S. Cooper Street. The Jared’s Jewelry store located at 3951 S. Cooper St. had an attempted burglary after suspects broke the front door glass.

There were additional reports of a burglary at the Walmart Located at 4801 S. Cooper St. after employees reported 7 people breaking into the store that was closed at the time. The suspects were attempting to steal clothing and televisions. No arrests were made in that incident and it remains under investigation. There were various criminal mischief reports of windows being damaged at an unoccupied store front in the Arlington Highlands. The Which Wich sandwich shop was also damaged at 3900 Chaney Drive in the Arlington Highlands after suspect threw patio chairs through the doors and windows. The First Cash Pawn located at 2916 S. Cooper St. was also broken into by multiple suspects who took various items and electronics. Officers were able to make an arrest on this offense:

  •  Cayson Truly of Duncanville charged with Burglary of a building, Evading Arrest, Fail to ID fugitive, and a felony warrant from Dallas county.

 Officers also made an arrest related to last night’s incidents.

  •  Jason Simpson of Arlington was taken into custody on two outstanding misdemeanor warrants after leaving the area of the First Cash Pawn Shop burglary.

 It should be noted that as many as 75 cars were reported by officers to be a part of the earlier demonstration that drove recklessly throughout the city and evaded officers on multiple occasions. Detectives are working to identify the suspects who evaded officers that are tied directly to criminal offenses. It is a state jail felony to evade a police officer who is attempting to stop and detain an individual for a criminal offense. 

 “What we saw last night which started as a peaceful assembly quickly turned violent after some people started defacing law enforcement property, damaging private businesses and burglarizing retail stores,” said Interim Police Chief Jaime Ayala. “We will continue to support peaceful protests and people exercising their First Amendment rights. We will not tolerate those individuals who plan to come to Arlington and detract from the overall message of criminal justice reform by engaging in criminal actions targeting our residents, officers and businesses.”

 A tip line has been set up to report criminal activity. Anyone with information related to last night’s criminal offenses are asked to contact Arlington PD at 817-575-8823. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by contacting Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS.

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