CHICAGO (CBS) – Timothy O’Donnell, disguised in a Joker mask but easily identifiable from a neck tattoo, set fire to a Chicago Police SUV in the Loop on Saturday and now faces federal charges for the damage, according to a criminal complaint released Tuesday.
O’Donnell, of Chicago, was arrested at an apartment on Tuesday in the 700 block of 19th Place. Photographs from witnesses, show O’Donnell opening the gas cap of the squad car in the 200 block of North State Street on Saturday. Another photo shows O’Donnell sitting on the street as the car erupts in flames. Another photo depicts him standing in front the engulfed vehicle, wearing the mask but also showing his neck tattoo with the word “Pretty.”
According to the complaint, O’Donnell waived his Mirada rights and admitted he was the person in the photographs. Authorities found a Joker mask inside the apartment.
O’Donnell was charged in a federal complaint because the police car belongs to the city government, which conducts business in interstate commerce. For example, the city buys the vehicles and equipment for the police department.
“Based on the above information, … there is probable cause to believe that Timothy O’Donnell committed the offense of causing damage by fire to a Chicago Police Department vehicle used in interstate commerce and in an activity affecting interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(i)” the complaint said.
Officials reported Tuesday that about 90 city vehicles, mostly police cars, were damaged in the violence. About 20 vehicles were destroyed.