RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Richard Rubalcava, 26, faced a new round of charges stemming from the May 30 protests in downtown Raleigh. He now faces federal and local charges.
CBS 17 dug into his criminal history to find he has been arrested several times by the Raleigh Police department on a variety of charges. His history included failure to appear, drug possession, credit card theft, carrying concealed weapons and trespass.
United States Attorney for the Easter District of North Carolina said Rubalcava entered Dollar General Express on Davie Street entering and exiting the store several times, stealing items along the way. They said surveillance cameras were rolling as he set a fire to several items and left the store.
Later that evening, surveillance cameras were recording when court documents said Rubalcava went into Budacai Restaurant three times. Investigators said it was Rubalcava seen on video ripping out a cash register, attempting to light a plan on fire, and then placing a burning towel on a counter top.
“I don’t know why he would do that. There is a residence above us and the fact that he wants to start a fire, that’s just crazy. There’s hundreds of people living upstairs and I don’t know what’s going through his mind. If this place were to catch on fire, who know what could happen upstairs,’ said Frank Lam, an owner of Budacai Restaurant.
He told CBS 17 windows were busted and he was still waiting on new windows to be installed. The morning after the protests, he arrived to find volunteers already at work.
“I came in and people had started sweeping already, people started cleaning up. I was just very happy there were so many people here to support us,” said Lam.
He didn’t take long to open knowing his employees weer counting on the restaurant for income.
Searches on Rubalcava’s social media pages by CBS 17 found several Facebook accounts under Rubalcava’s name. His employment was listed as janitorial services on some of those pages and construction work on others. Some of the pages listed history of having lived in Alaska but records showed he is a Raleigh resident.
Watch surveillance video from inside Budacai Restaurant below:
Prior Local Charges
Along with recent charges from the ATF charges, he faces local charges on felony inciting to riot, attempted second-degree arson, and felony trespass during emergency. On June 13 he was charged with first-degree arson, felony inciting to riot, and possess marijuana up to 1/2 oz.
All charges, except the marijuana charge, date back to incidents that occurred during the protests.
Rubalcava was arrested in downtown Raleigh for failure to appear on a marijuana possession and trespassing charges. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rubalcava was arrested in downtown Raleigh and charged with financial card theft and financial card fraud.
Rubalcava was arrested at WakeMed Raleigh and charged with financial card theft.
Rubalcava was arrested near the Herndon Place neighborhood for failure to appear on concealed weapons and second degree trespass charges.
Rubalcava was charged with second degree trespass less than a week after his previous arrest.
Rubalcava was tracked down using surveillance video and charged with felony inciting to riot, attempted second degree arson, felony trespass during emergency on June 7 following the downtown Raleigh protests.
On June 13, Rubalcava’s was charged for first degree arson, felony inciting to riot. A charge for possession of marijuana was added.
On June 18, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office arrested Rubalcava on a felony trespass during emergency charge.