Federal agents arrest man for taking part in fire set at Fayetteville Market House

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A man was arrested Friday for taking part in the fire set at Fayetteville’s historic Market House, the United States Department of Justice said.

Charles Anthony Pittman, of Fayetteville, was arrested by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. He is charged with maliciously damaging property owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance, a news release said.

An otherwise peaceful protest on May 30 turned violent when several people broke into the Market House and set fire to it. A news crew caught Pittman on camera showing a red gasoline container to the crowd below before he poured its contents on the flood of the second story.

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Pittman then ran out of the Market House as the floor caught fire with other people, including an employee, still inside. The Market House “sustained charring and mass wood loss to the second story floor,” the news release said.

Pittman broadcasted on Facebook Live earlier in the day while he drove around the traffic circle outside the Market House. He claimed to be scoping out the scene and was discussing whether it “should come down,” the release said.

He noted the inaction of the protesters, saying they would just “barbeque and mildew,” Pittman promised on the Facebook Live that he would be back. He was later seen wearing the same shirt in the Facebook Live video as he was when he was on video setting the fire, the release said.

Protesters also burned a United States flag in front of the Market House and broke several windows during the riot.

A video previously attached to this story erroneously stated that Pittman set himself on fire during the incidents on May 30. A corrected video has been attached.

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