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Four Face Federal Arson Charges in May 30 Violence

Staff reports

An overturned and burned car in the parking lot across from the Public Safety Building, May 30, 2020. File photo

Four individuals face federal charges in connection to the protest May 30 that turned violent at the Public Safety Building in Rochester.

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York announced the charges on July 7.

The following individuals were charged:

  • Dyshika McFadden, 26, and Miguel Ramos, 19, both of Rochester, are charged with conspiracy to commit arson and arson, for their alleged role in burning a Rochester Police Department patrol car that was parked in front of the Public Safety Building at 185 Exchange Blvd.;
  • Mackenzie Drechsler, 19, of Ontario, Wayne County, is charged with arson of a vehicle used in interstate commerce, for her alleged role in burning two vehicles, one belonging to the New York State Attorney General’s Office and another belonging to the city of Rochester Family Crisis Intervention Team (FACIT), both of which were parked in the vicinity of 144 Exchange Boulevard, in Rochester; and
  • Marquis Frasier, 27, of Rochester, is also charged with arson of a building vehicle and property, for allegedly using a Molotov cocktail that helped burn down a 32-foot by 8-foot mobile construction trailer and its contents, which was being rented by an out-of-state construction company and which parked in the lot at the corner of Exchange Boulevard and Court Street.

According to the government charges, at about 5:05 p.m. time McFadden and Ramos, using aerosol cans and an open flame, allegedly set fire to RPD CAR 463 that was parked in the loop in front of the Public Safety Building. The car was deemed a total loss.

At approximately 5:57 p.m., Dreschler allegedly set fire to an official vehicle owned by the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The government also alleges that at 6:18 p.m., Dreschler and another male were observed setting fire to the overturned FACIT car which was located nearby. Both vehicles were total losses.

At approximately 6:28 p.m., a 32-foot by 8-foot mobile office, rented by the Michels Corporation of Wisconsin, was set on fire. It was in the parking lot at the corner of Court Street and Exchange Boulevard. Facebook Live video footage posted by various users allegedly shows Frasier, holding a Molotov cocktail, walking up the steps of the mobile office, throwing the Molotov cocktail inside and immediately running down the steps. The mobile office was deemed a total loss.

“The arsons and assault with which these defendants have been charged are not part of any sort of righteous crusade; they are—plain and simple—criminal acts,” Kennedy said in a news release announcing the charges. “This sort of behavior, combined with dramatic increase in violent crime and shootings across both our nation and our district, suggests that some members of our society believe that division and violence provide an acceptable path forward from the current state of civil unrest.  They, however, are wrong.”

The charges stem from investigations from the Rochester Police Department, the Gates Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, the Rochester Fire Department,the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team and the United States Marshal’s Service.