First arrest made in Trump rally riots in ABQ

Anti-Trump protesters set fire to objects outside the Albuquerque Convention Center on May 24.. Some threw the lit objects at police. (Elise Kaplan/Albuquerque Journal)
Anti-Trump protesters set fire to objects outside the Albuquerque Convention Center on May 24.. Some threw the lit objects at police. (Elise Kaplan/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal

A national television news clip of protests outside Donald Trump’s Albuquerque rally last week led to the first arrest Tuesday of a rioter for throwing rocks at police officers, and several more arrests were expected late Wednesday.

Julian Heckman, born in 1994, was arrested and charged with seven counts of “propulsion of missiles” and other charges after officers watched CNN footage of him chucking rocks at police officers during last week’s protest.

Celina Espinoza, a police spokeswoman, said officers were expected to serve multiple arrest warrants Wednesday night in connection with the riots.

An anonymous citizen called police to report that Heckman was on national news throwing rocks at police officers and horses and cursing about Trump. An officer responded and watched the footage with the caller, who also picked out Heckman from a photograph, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint doesn’t say whether Heckman struck an officer with a rock. It does say that he endangered the lives of police officers, horses and members of the public by being violent and abusive in public. His charges are misdemeanors.

The complaint says that numerous protesters threw rocks – which ranged from the size of a golf ball to a grapefruit – and water bottles, beer bottles and items that were on fire. Some of the items struck officers.

No one was arrested during the protest outside, but police have reviewed lapel camera and other footage from the incident, which has led to the arrest warrants.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said last week that the protest cost taxpayers about $50,000, most which came from paying officers overtime to respond to the demonstration.

The Albuquerque Convention Center and the Imperial Building, an anticipated mixed-use building in the Downtown area, were damaged by protestors.

Police and local businesses have chipped in $11,500 in reward money for people who provide police with information that leads to arrests. It’s not clear if the person with the tip that led to Heckman’s arrest will receive a reward.

The demonstration that turned violent started outside the convention center, where Trump gave a speech. Police used officers in riot gear, smoke, and pepper spray to quell the riot.

Some protesters carried Mexican flags and appeared to focus primarily on divisive comments that Trump has made against Latinos on the campaign trail.

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