AUTHORITIES arrested a 22-year-old man with coronavirus for rioting at a Black Lives Matter protest without a face mask and refusing to social distance, even though he knew he was infected, Your Content has learned.
Julio V. Torres, 22, defied social distancing measures at the event on Monday and drew attention to himself when he threw ‘objects which could cause bodily harm at police officers’ and spoke to other individuals in the crowd ‘appearing to be directing their actions’.
After he removed a barricade outside Lancaster Police Station and threw it into the middle of the street, police chased him down, then he told authorities he had tested positive for COVID.
“During the arraignment, it was discovered that (Torres) tested positive, was told to self-quarantine and chose to attend or participate in the protest without proper social distancing, without a proper face mask and has placed other people at risk — both the public who were peacefully participating in the protest and law enforcement,” Lancaster County President Judge David Ashworth told Lancaster Online.
“I am very concerned that the public and law enforcement has been placed at risk,” Ashworth said. He said he was contacting the media because he knew “of no other way to get the word out.”
Jail warden Cheryl Steberger told Lancaster Online that all inmates are quarantined when entering. However Steberger said that general inmates are taken at their word when it comes to declare diseases.
“’If it’s all made up on his part, then it is. All we can do is act on his word. He has told a number of officials now that he is positive,” the judge said.
As of Wednesday, 3,267 of Pennsylvania’s 77,654 cases of coronavirus were in Lancaster County. Of 5,742 deaths in Pennsylvania, 310 were from Lancaster.
“I am very worried about an outbreak following days of demonstrations,” Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace said in an email Tuesday afternoon.
Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser also said they have ‘definite evidence’ the agitators would show up.
The group of ‘Caucasian individuals’ hurled rocks and bottles containing cayenne pepper at cops and were seen scouting the police station after threatening to set fire to it.
“Our main concern right now are the agitators that are coming into the city and trying to instigate violence between the crowd and the police officers,” he said Monday.
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