Days after a Chicago man in a ‘Joker’ mask allegedly set a city police car on fire in broad daylight, federal agents tracked him down, in part because of a ‘PRETTY’ tattoo on his neck, and arrested him. (Foxnews.com)
Timothy O’Donnell, 31, was arrested by police yesterday on a federal arson charge, the Department of Justice reported.
US Attorney John Lausch stated that anyone involved in destructive criminal behavior, such as setting a police car on fire, should be aware that federal law enforcement will use every tool available to prosecute them. (Chicagotribune.com)
‘PRETTY’ Tattoo Aids in Man’s Arrest
Photographs of the crime scene show a male in a mask – like the one used in the 2019 ‘Joker’ movie – setting a police car ablaze. In the pictures, the man is seen handling the police car’s gas tank posing near the burned out SUV. One of the photos showed the man’s ‘PRETTY’ tattoo on his neck.
The FBI agent handling the federal investigation also reviewed video that showed the entire May 30 crime.
Chicago police were responding to reports of unrest and wrongdoings in the area as protests grew around the country after the death of George Llloyd, a Minneapolis man who died while in police custody on May 25.
The police department was parked on North State Street in Chicago when it burst into flames.
Federal agents obtained a search warrant at O’Donnell’s home yesterday and found a ‘Joker’ mask in his bedroom, the criminal complaint stated. After he was arrested, he waived his right to remain silent and confessed he was the man in the photos.
If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to five to 20 years in federal prison. Protests have been held across the US, with some peaceful while others have involved rioting, looting, and violence.
Federal prosecutors are trying to have the man held without bond pending his trial. His attorney, Michael Leonard, said he would try to get O’Donnell released, arguing that he is not a danger to the community and is not a flight risk.
Mother Promises To Act As Custodian If Man Is Released Pending Trial
His mother stated that she would act as her son’s custodian if he is released pending trial.
O’Donnell, who listened to his arraignment by telephone from jail, said, “Yes, your honor,” when asked if he understood the federal charges against him.
The criminal complaint alleges the man was caught on video, lighting the police SUV on fire. Photographs offered by several eyewitnesses showed the man posing in front of the SUV as it was ablaze.
While his face was hidden by the mask, his neck tattoo was clearly visible. That image, including others, was included in the federal charging document.
O’Donnell One of 5 Hit With Federal Charges in Chicago
The man in the ‘Joker’ mask is not alone in facing federal charges in the Windy City. Four other people have been charged with federal crimes in Chicago stemming from rioting and looting after George Floyd was allegedly killed in police custody in Minneapolis. (Chicagotribune.com)
On Monday, federal charges were filed against Matthew Rupert, 28, accusing him of traveling to Chicago and Minneapolis to loot and riot.
Federal agents also filed federal weapons charges against three convicted felons – Brandon Pegues, Amber Peltzer and Kevin Tunstall – alleging they were apprehended near looting and protest scenes with firearms.
Pogues, from Riverdale, Illinois, was arrested at 1 am on Sunday after police officers responded to rioters near 801 South Financial Place, according to the charges. The police officers said they saw four men running south, with some of them carrying hammers.
Pegues allegedly looked at the police, adjusted his waistband, and ran. As police chased him, he fell and dropped a loaded 9 mm pistol.
Around that time, police officers approached Peltzer as he sat in a car near a bar on 16th Street and Michigan Avenue after seeing a glass front door of the business shattered. One of the police officers saw Peltzer reach under the front seat, where there was a loaded handgun.
Tunstall’s charges allege that police heard gunfire near Harrison and State streets at 1:30 am on Saturday and saw a group of men standing near a black SUV. When police approached, several people ran, but Tunstall got into the back seat. When police opened the front door, a pistol fell to the ground.
Tunstall was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 after being convicted of harassing a family member or witness, charged stated.
US Attorney John Lausch stated yesterday that his office was working with police in Chicago to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in destruction and violence in the city.