Rogers Park man pleads guilty to federal charges in River North riots

A Rogers Park man accused of setting a Chicago police squad car on fire during riots in River North last year pleaded guilty to a federal charge of civil disorder Thursday. Jacob Fagundo, 23, faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of $250,000, but he is expected to only get 8- to 14-months, according to the plea agreement.

Fagundo admitted to buying fireworks, lighter fluid, and other supplies on May 29, 2020, intending to use them at protests downtown the next day.

Jacob Fagundo was charged with setting this CPD vehicle on fire during riots near the Magnificent Mile on May 30, 2020. | CPD

Around 6:45 p.m. on May 30, Fagundo and other rioters broke the windows out of an unattended CPD squad car that was parked inside a garage at 30 East Kinzie, according to the agreement. He lit one of his fireworks and threw it into the police SUV. Fagundo will be ordered to pay CPD restitution of $58,125.

Last July, Fagundo deleted his social media presence after police received an anonymous tip identifying him as the arsonist seen in videos and photos of individuals who were being sought in connection with riot-related crimes.

He turned himself in to police the next day and Cook County prosecutors charged him with four felony counts of arson. Federal charges were filed last month.

According to a November 2019 Facebook post, Fagundo is an artist who “makes paintings that address intimacy and domesticity through careful consideration and manipulation of the composition.”

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