A 21-year-old Shaler man who admitted to damaging a Pittsburgh police car during the Downtown riots over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was sentenced Wednesday to one day in U.S. custody and six months in a halfway house.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab imposed that term on Brian Bartels and also ordered him to pay $1,000 in restitution. The six-month sentence will be served as part of a three-year term of probation.
Bartels had previously pleaded guilty in September to obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder.
U.S. prosecutors wanted jail time for Bartels but his lawyer asked for probation.
Law enforcement said Bartels kicked in the windshield of a cruiser and then spray-painted a letter A on it during the May 30 protests. His actions spurred on a crowd to further violence that led to the car being burned and other damage.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun Sweeney said in sentencing papers that Bartels spray-painted the car “in the presence of an agitated crowd” and then smashed parts of the vehicle “in order to make it unusable by the officers who were trying to prevent civil disorder.”
He said Bartels did not directly assault any officers but obstructed them by damaging their car.
Joseph Otte, Bartels’ lawyer, said his client had accepted responsibility for his actions, meeting less than two days later with investigators to explain what he did.