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4 charged following unrest in Richmond Tuesday night

Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 00:17:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Four people have been arrested and charged with damaging vehicles and buildings during a night of unrest in the City of Richmond Tuesday night.

Police say the group first gathered at Monroe Park, before heading west along West Main Street.

The group was then observed throwing objects at patrons at a restaurant at approximately 9:54 p.m., according to police.

Investigators say the group continued to walk through the city, damaging buildings and vehicles, including a Richmond Police K-9 vehicle.

"Officers observed an individual throw a large stone and damage an RPD K-9 vehicle," said a police spokesperson. "Later, that same individual was seen throwing an object against a business. As officers moved to arrest this individual, a group member assaulted an officer."

Neither the officer nor the dog was injured.

After consulting with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, police have charged four individuals in connection to the incidents:

Harrison Sellers, Saraswati Rowe, Paxton Chapman, Michael Toney

  • Paxton Chapman was charged with obstruction of justice, carrying a concealed weapon and pedestrian in the roadway.
  • Saraswati Rowe was charged with obstructing free passage.
  • Michael Toney was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.
  • Harrison Sellers was charged with inciting a riot and throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle.

Sellers, who goes by the name Gwen, was previously arrested by troopers in June.

"I don't know how someone this dangerous continues to be arrested and gets out, arrested and gets out,” Richmond City Council candidate Mike Dickinson said. “I just don't understand it. It's a threat and serious liability to the City of Richmond to have this guy on the streets."

In June, troopers pulled Sellers over for driving recklessly the wrong way on Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Inside his car police say they discovered an incendiary device, a hand saw, wooden shields, a gas mask and a shovel that had been fashioned into a spear.

"If you're under charges for a felony, there's a presumption for no bond,” said CBS6 legal expert Todd Stone. “So, it is a little surprising that he got a bond and was released. It could be a process error, could've been overlooked because the confusion COVID-19 is causing. I mean, there's so much going on right now in the system."

Police say an unlawful assembly was not declared during the unrest Tuesday night and no chemical agents were deployed.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.