For Immediate Release: 6/2/2020 3:52 pm
On the evening of Monday, June 1st 2020, a peaceful protest was held on the Worcester Common in solidarity with the family of George Floyd. Chief Sargent and numerous other Worcester Police officers attended and marched with the protesters from City Hall to the Courthouse. The protest concluded at around 8:30 PM, and the attendees went back to their homes.
At approximately 9:45 PM, Worcester Police officers observed a separate, unruly crowd of about fifty to seventy people in the area of Portland and Federal Street. Individuals in this group had thrown glass bottles at police cruisers, and they walked to Main St and began to block traffic. The mood was violent and chaotic. Officers followed the group and blocked off Main St traffic to keep vehicles from driving into the crowd as it walked south on Main St.
There was a police cruiser parked near the intersection of Hammond St and Main St, blocking traffic from Hammond to Main St. When the crowd got to Main and Hammond St, they turned off Main and began to surround the cruiser. The officer called for assistance, ran from the cruiser on foot, and the Tactical Patrol Force was activated to prevent the violence from escalating.
Officers with megaphones ordered the crowd many times to disperse. Members of the crowd began throwing objects at the police. One officer was struck in the head with a piece of concrete, and others were struck with rocks. Other individuals starting shooting fireworks and Roman candles at the officers. An officer was struck in the chest by fireworks, which burned his uniform and skin.
The neighborhood was filled with smoke from fires intentionally set by members of the crowd. A police cruiser caught on fire after being hit with a Roman candle, and others were damaged by various items thrown. Several buildings were vandalized and numerous cars drove at the officers assembled in the street. Dumpsters were lit on fire and pushed toward officers in an attempt to injure them. Residents came out of their houses and asked officers to get the riotous crowd under control.
About an hour and a half after the disturbance began, officers used less-lethal measures including smoke grenades and pepperball rounds to disperse the crowd and make arrests. Pepperball rounds dispense oleoresin capsicum, the same ingredient found in pepper spray. Over the course of the night, nineteen people were arrested and the disturbance ended. Those arrested will be arraigned in court.
While this disturbance was in progress, officers discovered that an individual, later identified as Vincent Eovarious, eighteen-years-old of W Lake St, was on the roof of Pennywise Market, armed with several Molotov cocktails. Officers talked to Mr. Eovarious for approximately ten minutes, at which point he surrendered and was taken into custody.
“Last night, I was there on Worcester Common, along with the Police Chief and thousands of other people, outraged by what we saw happen to George Floyd in Minneapolis. We stood in solidarity and listened as speakers shared their anger, their frustration and their pain. Everyone was gathered peacefully to stand up and speak out,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said. “Unfortunately, after that protest, there was a small group not looking to share outrage about George Floyd, but bent on destruction and chaos. To the credit of the Worcester Police Department, they showed tremendous restraint. I look at that group much different than the protesters that held themselves very appropriately and admirably during the rally at City Hall.”
“Yesterday I proudly joined the protest over the death of George Floyd and stood in solidarity with the protesters. The rioting that took place later in the evening was separate from the peaceful rally that I attended earlier. These individuals were not delivering a message but rather promoting violence. They were putting the citizens of our city at risk, along with our officers who came under attack. Our officers showed great restraint and professionalism as they restored order to the neighborhood while being assaulted. Violence is never the answer. Dialogue is. Together, we can move forward in an open and peaceful manner,” said Chief Steven M. Sargent.
Vincent Eovarious – eighteen-years-old of W Lake St – Attempted Arson of a Dwelling, Disturbing the Peace, Attempt to Commit a Crime
Courtney Harriott, nineteen-years-old of Warner Ave – Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Sean Craig, twenty-two-years-old of Millbury - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Ashley Briddon, twenty-two-years-old of Millbury - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Taylor Atkinson, twenty-two-years-old of Fitchburg - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Lasunia Bell, nineteen-years-old of Mattson Ave - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Emerson Rivas, twenty-three-years-old of S Ludlow St – Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, Interfering with a Police Officer
Roberto Retana, twenty-four-years-old of Clinton –Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace, Failure to Disperse during Riot
Richard Cummings, forty-four-years-old of Bishop Ave - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Sarah Drapeau, twenty-years-old of Norwood St - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Olyvia Crum, twenty-three-years-old of Norwood St - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Jay Verchin, twenty-three-years-old of Main St - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Antoine Hernandez, twenty-two-years-old of Dorchester – Disorderly Conduct, Receiving Stolen Property
Antonio Barrera, nineteen-years-old of Oxford - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Lyndsay Demanbey, twenty-three-years-old of Norwood St - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Veronica Pasquantonio – twenty-eight-years-old of Westport - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Javier Amarat – twenty-four-years-old of May St - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Max Marcotte – twenty-four-years-old of Loudon St - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace
Christopher Euga – twenty-eight-years-old of Westport - Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace