CLEVELAND — As an initially peaceful protest in Cleveland turned into violence and looting last Saturday, individuals broke into and stole from the team shop at Progressive Field.
Apparently, those weren't the only people to target the home of the Cleveland Indians.
At a press conference on Friday to announce federal charges against two Pennsylvania men accused of plotting to escalate the protest into a riot, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams revealed that police had just arrested five people who attempted to break into Progressive Field with fire starters and the intent to destroy early Friday morning.
According to a police report, two individuals attempted to climb a fence and get into the ballpark around 1:30 a.m., but in doing so activated the stadium lights. A call went out over dispatch, but just minutes later it was learned five males were in custody.
The individuals said they were trying to get into the stadium to take pictures for Instagram, but authorities say they later found fire starters and protest signs in the car they drove to Cleveland. Three juveniles were arrested, along with two adults: 19-year-old Tyler Perry Mayle, and 18-year-old Kevin Isaac Gulling (both of Canton).
The arrest of the five comes as the City of Cleveland continues to investigate and seek charges against those who escalated last weekend's protest, which served as a call for justice for the killing of a Minneapolis man named George Floyd, who died while being arrested on Memorial Day. Floyd's death, which resulted in the firing of four police officers, who have each since been charged, including a second-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, has led protests across the country.
Due to the violent nature of Saturday's demonstration, Mayor Frank Jackson issued a Proclamation of Civil Emergency (Civil Unrest) in Cleveland and curfew restrictions, which expired at 6 a.m. on Friday. During the protest, Progressive Field's team shop was apparently broken in to, although this appears to be unrelated to Friday's incident.