The Gwinnett County Police Department have arrested three people for allegedly damaging patrol cars this week, days after police used a TASER on, and arrested, one of the suspects during a protest in unincorporated Lawrenceville.
Police are also asking for help from the public to identify possible suspects involved in a separate incident.
Police said that sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight on Tuesday two patrol cars were targeted with Molotov cocktails at the homes of Gwinnett officers who live in Duluth and Lawrenceville.
In the first incident, a caller told the 911 Center that a Gwinnett patrol car was on fire at an officer’s residence in unincorporated Duluth.
When the Gwinnett County Fire Department arrived, the fire had already been extinguished, police said. Witnesses reported seeing three black males running from the vehicle.
In the second incident, a caller told the 911 Center that someone tried to set a patrol car on fire at an officer’s home in unincorporated Lawrenceville. Witnesses reported seeing a dark colored passenger car fleeing the area shortly thereafter.
A fire started on the ground behind the car and was extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Officers observed two dents on the driver’s side of the car.
A lookout was given to local law enforcement agencies following the events, and an additional patrol vehicle was found to have been damaged.
Lawrenceville police found one of the suspect’s vehicles and arrested 21-year-old Alvin Joseph of Lawrenceville. Joseph’s passenger, 20-year-old Lakaila Mack of Dacula, was taken to Gwinnett police headquarters for questioning. Following her interview, she was placed under arrest.
Investigators from the Gwinnett police department, the Gwinnett fire Arson Unit, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked throughout the late night and early morning to locate the third suspect and his vehicle.
A 21-year-old from Duluth, Ebuka Chike-Morah, was eventually found and arrested.
Both vehicles linked to the event were recovered, and a search warrant was issued on both cars, police said. A search of one of the vehicles revealed accelerant related to the crimes, according to a police report.
Joseph was previously arrested on Saturday for disturbing the peace during a protest at Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville. During that arrest, Gwinnett police officers used a TASER to restrain Joseph. He was one of four people arrested at that protest, which was held in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Details and police body camera footage are emerging from four arrests that occurred during a protest at Sugarloaf Mills on Saturday, including one who was punched in the face officer and another who officers used a TASER on.
Joseph was released from the Gwinnett County Jail hours after the Sugarloaf Mills arrest on Saturday.
Two Gwinnett police cars were damaged during the protest at Sugarloaf Mills, but Joseph has not been accused of causing that damage.
All three suspects arrested in connection to the damage done to the patrol cars on Tuesday night will be charged in reference to both incidents:
♦ Alvin Joseph: Arson 1st Degree – Felony (2 counts), Possession and Manufacturing of Destructive Device – Felony (2 counts), Criminal Trespass – Misdemeanor (2 counts), Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime – Felony (2 counts), Interference with Government Property – Felony (2 counts), Interference with Government Property – Misdemeanor (1 count), and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon – Felony (1 count)
♦ Lakaila Mack: Arson 1st Degree – Felony (2 counts), Possession and Manufacturing of Destructive Device – Felony (2 counts), Criminal Trespass – Misdemeanor (2 counts), Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime – Felony (2 counts), Interference with Government Property – Felony (2 counts)
♦ Ebuka Chike-Morah: Arson 1st Degree – Felony (2 counts), Possession and Manufacturing of Destructive Device – Felony (2 counts), Criminal Trespass – Misdemeanor (2 counts), Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime – Felony (2 counts), Interference with Government Property – Felony (2 counts)
All three suspects are being held without bond at the Gwinnett County jail.
In an unrelated incident, police said a Gwinnett officer found his patrol car windshield and driver’s side window smashed at around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday at his home in unincorporated Lawrenceville.
Police said it appeared as though someone threw a brick, causing the damage.
No suspects have been identified in the case at this time.
Anyone who has information about the case is asked to call police at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. They can also visit www.stopcrimeATL.com. Crime Stoppers does allow tipsters to remain anonymous and they can receive a cash reward if the information they provide leads to an arrest and indictment in the case.
Tipsters are asked to reference case No. 20-041216.