The office of the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota has charged a defendant with aiding and abetting the arson of the Third Precinct police headquarters that was abandoned and burned to the ground in south Minneapolis this past May 28. Here is the heart of the press release announcing the charge:
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a federal criminal complaint against BRANDEN MICHAEL WOLFE, 23, charging him with aiding and abetting arson at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct….According to the allegations in the complaint, on the night of May 28, 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct was overrun and heavily damaged due to vandalism and arson. Investigators identified multiple separate fires had been started in the building.
On June 3, 2020, St. Paul police officers responded to a home improvement store in St. Paul after receiving a complaint that an individual, later identified as WOLFE, wearing body armor and a law enforcement duty belt and carrying a baton was trying to get into the store. According to employees, WOLFE had been employed as a security guard at the store but was fired earlier that day after referring to social media posts about stealing items from the Third Precinct. Officers located WOLFE and took him into custody.
At the time of the arrest, WOLFE was wearing multiple items stolen from the Third Precinct, including body armor, a police-issue duty belt with handcuffs, an earphone piece, baton, and knife. WOLFE’s name was handwritten in duct tape on the back of the body armor. Law enforcement later recovered from WOLFE’s apartment additional items belonging to the Minneapolis Police Department, including a riot helmet, 9mm pistol magazine, police radio, and police issue overdose kit.
According to the allegations in the complaint, during a law enforcement interview, WOLFE admitted to being inside the Third Precinct the night of the arson, to taking property from the building, and to pushing a wooden barrel into the fire. WOLFE also identified himself in multiple witness photographs depicting WOLFE in front of the Third Precinct holding a police baton, with smoke and flames visible in the background. In his statement to law enforcement, WOLFE confirmed that he pushed a wooden barrel into the fire, knowing that it would help keep the fire burning. Investigators recovered from the scene charred metal barrel rings.
I have embedded the charging documents below. If any of our readers have a bead on where Wolfe is coming from, please email us at our site gmail account.