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Arlington Police Say Peaceful Protest Devolved Into Hours Long Crime Spree

Despite Peaceful Protests Some Arlington Businesses Close Fearing Second Night Of Looting

ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The protest was generally peaceful, Arlington Police said of the planned demonstration Monday around 4:00 p.m. on the Center Street bridge over I-20.

Police said there appeared to be "several agitators" who showed up for a second demonstration at Arlington City Hall a few hours later.

They were verbally abusive towards officers and threw objects at patrol cars and officers, police said.

In an attempt to deescalate the situation, officers blocked traffic at intersections so protestors could walk around the area, the police department said in a news release Tuesday.

At one point, an officer blocking traffic near Cooper and Division, several people threw objects at the vehicle damaging the windshield and spray painting graffiti on the car.

The officer was able to reverse back and get out of the situation unharmed.

As the night went on, several members from this group walked to PD Headquarters located at 620 W. Division and burned several American flags and damaged four windows at the front of the station. There was also graffiti damage to a star statue on the front lawn of the station, police said.

The group then marched towards the Walmart across from AT&T Stadium.

The Walmart was closed.

Police said several people broke into the store.

Officers made four arrests.

The department's Special Response Team responded to the location to maintain order.

Some suspects got away.

Detectives will utilize surveillance video to try to identify those who were able to get away.

The four people arrested are:

Keniya Garrett of Arlington charged with Burglary of Building, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, fail to ID fugitive, and also had 9 warrants confirmed.

Danecia Harris of Fort Worth charged with Burglary of Building, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

D'Anthony Reed of Grand Prairie charged with Burglary of Building, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

Breopthilus Williams of Fort Worth charged with Burglary of Building, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

Police said a large group began to form and park on Randol Mill Road in front of the Walmart after having been told to disperse.

The group eventually left the roadway and were believed to be heading to the Parks Mall. Officers headed that way to prevent the Parks Mall and Highlands shopping center from being burglarized, police said.

Throughout the next hour or so, some people committed or attempted to commit burglaries on closed retailers.

One burglary happened at the Arlington Jewelry Exchange at 4621 S. Cooper Street.

The Jared's Jewelry store located at 3951 S. Cooper St. had an attempted burglary after suspects broke the front door glass.

There were additional reports of a burglary at the Walmart 4801 S. Cooper St. after employees reported seven people breaking into the store that was closed at the time.

The suspects were attempting to steal clothing and televisions.

No arrests were made in that incident and it remains under investigation.

There were various criminal mischief reports of windows being damaged at an unoccupied store front in the Arlington Highlands. The Which Wich sandwich shop was also damaged at 3900 Chaney Drive in the Arlington Highlands after suspect threw patio chairs through the doors and windows. The First Cash Pawn located at 2916 S. Cooper St. was also broken into by multiple suspects who took various items and electronics.

Officers were able to make an arrest in that case:

Cayson Truly of Duncanville charged with Burglary of a building, Evading Arrest, Fail to ID fugitive, and a felony warrant from Dallas county.

Officers also made an arrest related to last night's incidents.

Jason Simpson of Arlington was taken into custody on two outstanding misdemeanor warrants after leaving the area of the First Cash Pawn Shop burglary.

Arlington Police said as many as 75 cars were reported by officers to be a part of the earlier demonstration that "drove recklessly throughout the city and evaded officers on multiple occasions."

Detectives are working to identify the suspects who evaded officers that are tied directly to crimes.

"What we saw last night which started as a peaceful assembly quickly turned violent after some people started defacing law enforcement property, damaging private businesses and burglarizing retail stores," said Interim Police Chief Jaime Ayala. "We will continue to support peaceful protests and people exercising their First Amendment rights. We will not tolerate those individuals who plan to come to Arlington and detract from the overall message of criminal justice reform by engaging in criminal actions targeting our residents, officers and businesses."

Arlington Police set up a tip line for people to report crime.

Anyone with information related to Monday night's crime spree can contact Arlington PD at 817-575-8823.

Tipsters can also remain anonymous by contacting Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS.

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