Federal Prosecutors: Many Arrested Inauguration Protesters Face Felony Rioting Charges

January 22, 2017 Updated: January 22, 2017

Many arrested protesters who rioted on Inauguration Day will be charged with felonies, prosecutors said.

CBS reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office says the offense is punishable by as many as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Some 217 alleged rioters were arrested during the protests on Friday. They appeared before the Washington Superior Court on Sunday, the Independent reported.

Police were forced to use stun grenades, tear gas, water cannons, and pepper spray against the protesters.

Under Washington D.C. law, felony rioting entails five or more people causing “serious bodily harm” or at least $5,000 of property damage “by tumultuous and violent conduct and the threat thereof.”

At least one defendant told a judge they were a journalist for online site Vocativ and shouldn’t have been detained, BuzzFeed reported.

Police in Washington say they’ve arrested a man who threw a rock at officers on Inauguration Day, AP reported.

Police said in a statement Sunday that 30-year-old Dane Powell of Largo, Florida, was charged with assault on a police officer while armed. A total of 230 people were arrested on Inauguration Day and charged with felony rioting after some in a group of self-described anarchists broke the windows of downtown businesses and set a limousine on fire. That incident began around 10:30 a.m. on Friday near 12th and L streets, northwest.

Police say Powell threw a rock at officers around 3 p.m. but wasn’t caught on Friday. Police say they learned Powell’s identity in an investigation and that he was located Saturday and arrested.

Online court records don’t show an attorney for Powell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.