Branden Michael Wolfe Arrested for Allegedly Setting Fire to Police Station
A St. Paul security guard was wearing stolen police gear when he was arrested Wednesday, six days after he’s accused of helping to burn down the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct during riots following the death of George Floyd.
Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, was fired on June 3 from his security job at Menards on University Avenue after the store learned of social media reports that identified him as a participant in the May 28 rioting.
A Menards employee called police after Wolfe tried to enter the store later that day wearing stolen body armor and a law enforcement duty belt and carrying a police baton, according to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court.
St. Paul police found him in a vehicle several miles from the store, still wearing the body armor and duty belt, which was affixed with handcuffs, a baton, a knife and an earpiece. His name was handwritten on duct tape attached to the back of the body armor, according to the complaint.
In a police interview, Wolfe admitted he stoked the 3rd Precinct fire by pushing a wooden barrel into the flames.
He also reportedly admitted to stealing several items from inside and identified himself in multiple photographs that showed a man standing in front of the East Lake Street precinct holding a police baton as the building burned behind him.
Police searched Wolfe’s St. Paul apartment and found several items belonging to Minneapolis police, including a riot helmet, 9 mm magazine, police radio and police drug overdose kit, charges say.
Wolfe was charged in federal court Monday with aiding and abetting arson.
Anyone with information about the 3rd Precinct fire or business fires in the Twin Cities can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS, email [email protected] or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.
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