Rochester man arrested for allegedly trying to incite a riot

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced on Friday that a Rochester man has been arrested for allegedly inciting a riot and resisting arrest.

Officers with the Rochester Police Department arrested Ryan Howe, of Rochester, for inciting a riot and resisting arrest. The arrest stemmed from Howe’s involvement in protests in Rochester relating to the death of Daniel Prude, who died in March 2020, one week after an encounter with RPD officers. Howe resisted RPD Officer’s efforts to arrest him following his conduct in seeking to agitate approximately 40 other protesters who were present at the Public Safety Building in Rochester on September 2.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office shared information that Howe was espousing beliefs consistent with Antifascist ideology on his Facebook page on September 8.  That page included references to several ANTIFA images and symbols, including a profile picture banner stating, “Antifascist Action,” a profile picture of Howe dressed in all black with a helmet and goggles (which is consistent with the physical appearance of ANTIFA adherents), a circle with the letter “A” which represents anarchy, and the profile synopsis under the profile picture which states “Anti-Fascist” and “Anarcho-communist.”

In addition, Howe’s Facebook page was used to post a reference to an article from the Buffington Post entitled, “No Cops Charged With Murder In The Killing Of Breonna Taylor” on September 23. Along with the reference to the article, Howe’s Facebook page was used to post a message reading, “Bum this sh*t to the f***ing ground.” 

The next day, Howe’s Facebook page was used to post a message that consisted of a detailed recipe for the manufacture of a Molotov cocktail and guidance on how such device against the police. That same day, Howe’s Facebook page was used to post another message, which read, “Good morning to everyone ready to burn this whole fu**in country to the ground!”  Additionally, and later that afternoon, Howe’s Facebook page was used to post an animated image (commonly referred to as an “emoji”) which depicted a smiley face holding what appeared to be a flaming Molotov cocktail.

Howe made an initial appearance on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Marian Payson, and is being held pending a detention hearing scheduled for September 30 at 11:30 a.m.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brett A Harvey.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Baxter; and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Simmons.

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