Federal investigators are offering a $ 5,000 reward for information about a man believed to have bombed a government building in Wisconsin after the one-day protests near the State Capitol turned violent on Tuesday night.
Protesters downed two statues, destroyed buildings, and are accused of assaulting a Democratic state senator on video at the Madison State Capitol when chaos erupted in the city.
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Police said a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the downtown city county building. The building houses the 911 Communications Office, the Madison Police Department, and other city and county government services.
The Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is asking for the public’s help to identify a man seen throwing an incendiary device at the government building around 1 am
“We hope the public will help us identify this person,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jon Ortiz of the ATF St. Paul Field Division said in a statement. “This is a serious crime that puts several lives at risk. Acts like this will not be tolerated.”
A surveillance image of the scene shows a man who appears to be spraying the exterior of the building with a substance. A second image shows him holding an incendiary device while it’s on fire.
The violence began after a group of 200 to 300 protesters marched through downtown Madison and escalated once they reached the Capitol grounds. Some tried to break into the Capitol building, but the police rejected them with pepper spray.
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Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter, a Democrat from Milwaukee, was walking toward the Capitol building when he encountered protesters and began recording them. Carpenter said he was “assaulted and beaten” by eight to 10 people while taking the video.
Protesters also turned their anger on two statues: one of the Civil War Colonel Hans Christian Heg, who fought for the Union side and was a fervent abolitionist, and one of Wisconsin’s slogans, “Go ahead.”
Governor Tony Evers condemned the violence and activated the National Guard on Wednesday. He said there was “significant damage to state property.”
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway also condemned the violence overnight, saying it was “incredibly dangerous” and that those involved in criminal conduct “will be held accountable.”
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ATF is working with the Madison Police and Fire Departments on the investigation. The agency asked anyone with information about the person to contact the Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or online at www.P3Tips.com.
Louis Casiano of Fox News contributed to this report.