25-year-old Margaret Aislinn Channon, of Tacoma WA, was arrested at her home on Thursday for allegedly burning five police vehicles in downtown Seattle on May 30 during protests over the death of George Floyd.
DOJ: 25-year-old Tacoma woman arrested this morning on 5 federal counts of arson for allegedly burning five Seattle police vehicles in downtown Seattle on May 30 pic.twitter.com/gdry5DmWcP
— Michael Spears (@MichaelKIRO7) June 11, 2020
According to the News Tribune – Federal authorities in full SWAT gear took the 25-year-old woman into custody without incident, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
A neighbor near the home in the 8400 block of South G Street reported hearing explosions during the raid.
The woman was identified from photos and videos by her numerous and distinctive tattoos, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. The videos came from Seattle police, surveillance cameras, broadcast news video and social media posts.
“This defendant was captured by multiple cameras using an accelerant, lit like a blowtorch, to start fires in five vehicles — putting the public at risk and creating the very real possibility of a structure fire amidst the throng of people protesting downtown,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran.
A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle charges the woman, Margaret Aislinn Channon, with five counts of arson.
Investigators said Channon appeared in videos from both days and said tattoos on her hands and arms were clearly visible.
After reviewing her social media accounts, investigators said they confirmed her identity.
Officials said they executed a search warrant at her home, confirmed her tattoos and seized clothes and accessories seen in some of the videos of the arsons.
“The number one mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to express their opinions and peacefully protest. What it does not provide is the right to invoke violence under the guise of free speech,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Raymond Duda of the Seattle Field Office. “In cooperation with our partners, we will work tirelessly to identify, investigate, and prevent individuals who are inciting violence, and coordinate with the United States Attorney’s Office to address any federal violations.”