WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — An 18-year-old man has been charged with possession of Molotov cocktails, which he allegedly intended to use on Worcester police officers during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd.
According to the Department of Justice, Vincent Eovacious "attempted to obstruct or interfere with law enforcement officers engaged in responding to the violent demonstration in Worcester on June 1." He is also charged with unlawful possession of firearm, namely Molotov cocktails.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Eovacious was arrested on Wednesday after being released on bond following state charges, including possession of an incendiary device.
“The right to protest is not the right to hurt police officers and destroy property,” said Lelling. “According to the complaint, this self-proclaimed anarchist built Molotov cocktails – homemade firebombs – to use during a demonstration honoring George Floyd. We will aggressively prosecute anyone who pursues violence under cover of peaceful protest.”
According to the ATF Special Agent in Charge, Eovacious was "in possession of several Molotov Cocktails and appeared intent to use them as lethal devices against Police Officers while they were protecting the rights of protestors."
Charging documents state that on Monday, June 1st, crowds gathered at various locations in Worcester to protest the recent death of George Floyd in Minnesota. At approximately 10:00 p.m., documents say a large crowd blocked traffic and began throwing objects in the direction of the police.
"As officers on scene gathered into a line formation, one officer observed a man dressed in a trench coat standing on top of a building at 848 Main Street which is clearly marked, 'No Trespassing.' The man, later identified as Eovacious, allegedly yelled for the crowd below to kill the police and paced back and forth on the rooftop," the charging document said.
"The officer then observed Eovacious remove from a bottle from his satchel that appeared to contained liquid and attempt to insert a rag into the bottle while holding a silver object that the officer believed to be a lighter. Minutes later, officers observed Eovacious walking in the area of May and Main Streets, still carrying the satchel, and stopped him."
According to court documents, officers searched the satchel and recovered three clear glass bottles with a slightly yellow liquid that smelled of gasoline, five white rags, one green lighter and one silver lighter. Eovacious stated that the liquid in the glass bottles was gasoline and that he was “with the anarchist group” and was “waiting for an opportunity.”
Lelling's office said the civil disorder charge provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
“As alleged, the danger posed by Vincent Eovacious in this case was very real," said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. "The apparent intent to hurl Molotov cocktails at police officers who are risking their lives to protect the Constitutional rights of protesters and the safety of us all is utterly reprehensible ... This type of behavior puts our entire community in danger, and we simply will not let it go unaddressed.”
(Photo: Getty Images)