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Lancaster Brings Hammer Down on Rioters with $1 Million Bail

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Thirteen people have been accused of committing crimes during unrest in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Sunday night, with bail for seven of them set at $1 million.

The eight for whom charging documents have been made public are accused of being instigators during demonstrations over the fatal police shooting of an armed man.

Authorities said the protests degenerated into rioting that damaged Lancaster’s police headquarters and produced an arson fire that blocked a downtown intersection.

Police in Lancaster, a city of nearly 60,000 in the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country, said Tuesday that they arrested five others on similar charges.

The 13 defendants range from 16 to 43 years old and live in Lancaster and surrounding communities.

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Among the eight for whom charging documents were available, accusations include arson, rioting and institutional vandalism. One has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

The father of Kathryn Patterson, an undergraduate student at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, called her $1 million bail, set by a magisterial district justice, “obscene.”

“Everything that I know so far, which is not a lot, indicates that Kat is not guilty of those charges. But then again, we’ll have to wait and see,” said Chip Patterson, who lives in Mercersburg, about 100 miles west of Lancaster.

He said he has not been able to reach his daughter since her arrest.

Do you believe that the $1 million bail is justified?

“I think regardless of what these people did or didn’t do, the bail amount is just outrageous and clearly against the Eighth Amendment,” Patterson said.

The unrest concerned the fatal police shooting of Ricardo Munoz, whose sister had called authorities in hopes of having him involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.

Police have made public the officer’s body camera video. It showed Munoz, 27, approaching the officer with the knife in a menacing manner, before the officer, who has not been publicly identified, shot and killed him.

Munoz had been out on bond, awaiting trial for allegations he stabbed four people last year, including a teenage boy who was stabbed in the face.

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