Man accused of stealing police rifle, setting police car on fire during Seattle riot arrested

Man accused of stealing police rifle, setting police car on fire during Seattle riot arrested
What started out as hours of peaceful protests later escalated into violence in downtown Seattle. (KIRO 7 News)

SEATTLE — A man charged with stealing a police rifle and setting a police car on fire during a May 30 riot in downtown Seattle was arrested Wednesday.

Tyre Wayne Means Jr. was arrested in Bremerton, where he was meeting with his probation officer.

Means Jr., who is a felon from Georgia with a domestic violence conviction and no-contact order in Washington, is federally charged with arson, possession of a stolen firearm and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. All are felony charges.

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Shortly after 4 p.m. on May 30, Means Jr. was seen on video lighting a paper towel on fire and then putting it in the back of a Seattle police patrol car parked outside Nordstrom on Sixth Avenue in downtown Seattle, according to the criminal complaint.

Court documents show others in the crowd then fueled the flames with lighter fluid and other accelerants. The car was destroyed.

Means Jr. was also captured on video reaching through the shattered rear window of another patrol car and removing a rifle bag, federal authorities said.

He’s then seen looking inside the bag before fighting with a man who tries to get the rifle bag from him before Means Jr. runs away, the complaint charges.

Later surveillance video from Pine Street, which was near where the rifle was stolen, shows Means Jr. in a fight with another man. During the fight, an unidentified man is seen picking up the rifle bag and walking away.

The rifle was anonymously returned to the Seattle Police Department west precinct later that day.

Prosecutors say Means Jr. was identified by his distinctive clothing, jewelry, tattoos and connection to a woman who also had distinctive tattoos and a significant social media presence.

Means, Jr. is banned from having firearms after two felony convictions in Georgia and a Washington domestic violence felony that includes a no-contact order.