Local News

Federal grand jury indicts 2 Fayetteville men for arson of historic Market House

Posted June 24, 2020 7:06 p.m. EDT

— A federal grand jury returned indictments today charging two Fayetteville men with the arson of the City of Fayetteville’s Market House, a National Historic Landmark.

According to the indictments, Charles Anthony Pittman, 32, and Andrew Salvarani Garcia-Smith, 32, took part in the burning of the Market House after the peaceful protests following the death of George Floyd turned violent.

Several local news outlets filmed Pittman carrying around a red gasoline container on the second story of the Market House. Pittman proceeded to pour the gasoline throughout the second story of the Market House, which was then set on fire.

Prior to any protests, Pittman posted a video on social media discussing his plans to bring the Market House down.

Authorities identified Garcia-Smith after he reported to a local hospital with several burn injuries as a result his actions. Garcia-Smith threw a bottle of burning liquid into the Market House. As he did so, the burning liquid spilled back onto him—setting Garcia-Smith’s hair and clothes ablaze. A social media video of the incident went viral, as several news outlets showed Garcia-Smith running down the steps of the Market House engulfed in flames.

Market House fire

Pittman and Garcia-Smith are each charged with the malicious burning of a building owned or possessed by an entity receiving Federal assistance. If convicted, both Pittman and Garcia-Smith face mandatory minimum sentences of 7 years in prison.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Fayetteville Police Department are investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Rhoades and J.D. Koesters are prosecuting the case.

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