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Lancaster man charged with damaging Lancaster Police Station, Post Office, and various official vehicles during protests earlier this month

Christopher Vazquez was arrested Wednesday on charges of institutional vandalism, arson, riot, and other offenses.
Credit: Lancaster Police
Christopher Vazquez

LANCASTER, Pa. — Police have charged a 31-year-old Lancaster man accused of damaging the front door of the Lancaster Police Station, the front door of the U.S. Post Office building, and vehicles registered to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office and the Lancaster Parking Authority during protests after a police-involved shooting in the city on Sept. 13.

Christopher Joseph Vazquez, of the first block of Campbell Ave., is charged with four counts of institutional vandalism for his alleged actions during the protests, according to Lancaster Police. Two of the counts are third-degree felonies, and two are misdemeanors.

Vazquez is also charged with a felony count of arson -- reckless burning, a felony count of riot, and misdemeanor counts of failure to disperse and disorderly conduct, according to police.

He is accused of throwing bricks at the front doors of the Lancaster Police Station and the U.S. Post Office on West Chestnut Street, causing an estimated $11,000 worth of damage to both buildings. 

Vazquez also allegedly threw bricks at and damaged a vehicle registered to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office, then lit an umbrella on fire and placed it inside the vehicle through a broken window, police say. His alleged actions caused an estimated $16,000 to the vehicle, according to police.

He also allegedly threw bricks at and damaged vehicles registered to the Lancaster Parking Authority, which were parked on the first block of West Orange Street, according to police. His actions caused an estimated $1,100 worth of damage to those vehicles, police allege.

Vazquez was taken into custody at his home on Wednesday, according to police. He was arraigned on the charges and committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

"The investigation into the riotous behavior, violence and property destruction that occurred on 9/13/20 and 9/14/20 is on-going," the police department said in a press release. "Detectives are conducting interviews, reviewing surveillance video, and tips sent in by the public. 

"Anyone with information on these incidents or the identities of additional suspects is asked to contact Lancaster Bureau of Police at 717-735-3301."