New York Man Sentenced to 16 Months in Jail for Burning Police Car During 2020 Riots

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
February 25, 2022Updated: February 25, 2022

A New York man who was captured on drone footage lighting fire to a police car during the 2020 riots was sentenced to prison time on Feb. 24.

Miguel Ramos, 21, of Rochester, was sentenced to 16 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles Siragusa, a Clinton nominee.

Ramos, investigators said, was captured on video, including on footage from a drone, intentionally setting fire to a Rochester Police Department vehicle on May 30, 2020, during one the many riots that took place in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The vehicle was parked in the front loop outside the Public Safety Building in Rochester when Ramos and another man approached it in broad daylight and lit it on fire, according to the footage.

Ramos pleaded guilty in 2021 to one count of rioting. Ramos admitted to lighting the police car on fire and to taking photographs of himself at the riot before sending the pictures to others in text messages and encouraging them to participate in the riot, according to court documents obtained by The Epoch Times.

The defendant could have been sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and fined up to $250,000.

Prosecutors recommended 24 months of prison time, based in part on the guilty plea, which they said permitted the government to avoid using resources to prepare for trial.

Peter Pullano, an attorney representing Ramos, asked the court to impose the lowest possible sentence, asserting Ramos acknowledged his criminal act, is remorseful, and has cooperated with authorities. Pullano also said the court shouldn’t fine Ramos because the man “does not have the ability” to pay any fine.

“The Defendant stands before this Court in more trouble than he has ever imagined possible. He has embarrassed himself and humiliated his family by being involved in this matter In fact, he had been warned by his family prior to going downtown. The time he has spent preparing for his sentence, has been a ‘wake up call’ to the reality of where a life of drug dealing can lead. Accordingly, the Defendant has already experienced substantial rehabilitation and is dedicated to never again making the mistakes in judgment that lead to his becoming involved in the instant offense,” the filing stated, with exhibits attached showing her was diagnosed with lead exposure and learning disabilities.

Siragusa agreed not to fine Ramos. Apart from the prison sentence, Ramos was ordered to pay $4,287 in restitution to the city of Rochester.

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