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Arrests and charges against duo in bat and Molotov cocktail attacks on East Precinct — and a glimpse inside black bloc

Charges against two friends police say were responsible for Molotov cocktail attacks at the East Precinct, fires in the streets of Pike/Pine, and the bat attack on a riot officer during a September clash with police that made national headlines provide a glimpse into the ongoing black bloc demonstrations on Capitol Hill and across Seattle and reveal the simple clues that allowed detectives to track down the suspects.

Seattle Police and the King County Prosecutor announced the arrests in the most high profile recent protest incidents and charges against Jacob Greenburg, 19, and Danielle McMillan, 29, this week.

Greenburg, a Kirkland resident, is charged with first degree attempted arson, reckless burning, and first degree assault for the September bat attack on an officer after police moved in on a large crowd of protesters demonstrating against injustice in the Breonna Taylor case as a grand jury in Kentucky declined to file homicide charges in the March 2020 killing of the 26-year-old Black woman. Greenburg also faces a charge of being armed with a deadly weapon in the attack. Police say the teen has no known criminal history.

McMillan, who lists an Everett address, is charged with first degree arson and also has a limited criminal record. In 2018, she was busted for reckless driving, and was charged with obstruction in 2011. She also faced minor drug charges in 2009, the court records state.

Both are scheduled to enter pleas on the charges next week.

The prosecutor’s office says the case is one of around 20 it is handling from arrests made during months of protest across the city. “The overwhelming majority of protest-related arrests are never referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” the office said in a statement.

In the court documents, police describe the baseball bat attack that left the officer stunned but not seriously injured, and a series of Molotov cocktail attacks and arsons around the East Precinct that Greenburg and McMillan are alleged to have planned and taken part in. Following the attack on the officer, police asked for the public’s help tracking down the suspect and began searching for more information about the person seen striking the officer in video of the assault circulating online. Police say the duo also made incriminating statements to each other via text. “can we like pls slit every spd throat,” the 19-year-old is alleged to have texted.


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A September 26th demonstration on E Pine brought Greenburg into police custody and started the process that would eventually ensnare McMillan.

Police moved in to bust up the crowd that night as fires were started in the street after a week of protests. Police and prosecutors says one person seen squirting what appears to be lighter fluid onto the flames and taking pictures of the scene with a Nikon camera was Greenburg — their “Suspect 1” or S1 in the investigation.

According to the court documents, officers continued to monitor Greenburg’s location during the unrest that night after seeing his actions at the scene of the fire. “Investigators maintained a visual on S1 until uniformed arrest teams could. move in and place him into custody,” the report reads. “When arresting officers moved in for the arrest, S1 attempted to run from officers but was quickly captured and placed into custody.”

Police say they transported the suspect to the West Precinct and seized a full black bloc worthy kit from Greenburg that night. With search warrants, the pieces to tie him and McMillan to other alleged crimes began to fall into place.

The Greenburg-McMillan case is one of around two dozen protest-related cases being handled by the King County Prosecutor this fall. Many are similar in nature. Johnathan Livatt Dugger, a 20-year-old from Olympia, faces a charge of second degree arson after police said he was captured on video throwing a lit firework into the E Olive Way Starbucks and starting a fire during a demonstration on the night of October 3rd. Dugger, who has pleaded not guilty in the incident, was freed on $75,000 bail and ordered not to go near the Capitol Hill coffee shop which remains shuttered after months of vandalism and property damage. Police say they identified Dugger at a protest the day following the Starbucks incident thanks to distinct markings on his facemask and clothing.

“Communications between the two co-defendants show a high degree of sophistication and planning for their attacks, from identifying targets (Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, East Precinct), itemizing the needs for set numbers of Molotov Cocktails, calculating expected loss for failed bombs, and where to obtain supplies,” prosecutors write about the Greenburg-McMillan case.

While police and prosecutors say the crimes were sophisticated, tracking down the suspects — as in the Dugger case —  was only a matter of time, photographs, and videos.

According to the court documents, police obtained warrants and searched the Kirkland home Greenburg lives in with his parents, where they recovered two baseball bats detectives are hoping to link to the crimes. A search of Greenburg’s 2002 Lexus turned up a helmet like the one seen in livestreams, photos, and police body camera images of the suspect police had begun tracking after the baseball bat attack and found had been present at a series of Molotov cocktail attacks and fires during the demonstrations.

Conservative media has reported Greenburg is the stepson of former state Rep. Laura Ruderman, a Democrat who represented the 45th legislative district from 1999 to 2005 after the police report included her name in the court documents and said she was present and aided police during the search for the bats.

Police say the found that Greenburg and McMillan, though they dressed in the style of the black bloc protesters, each had easy to identify markings, gear, and clothing elements that made it possible for detectives to spot them and pick them out of the crowd after reviewing photographs and video from weeks of protests.

Detectives also tore into Greenburg’s phone. That’s where there found “Mariel” and a trove of chat threads that linked the person and Greenburg to discussions about the construction of the simple fire bombs and the specific attacks near the East Precinct.

Linking Mariel to McMillan was even easier. Police found the phone number used by the person chatting with Greenburg was the same used in advertisements for a Woodinville-based real estate broker. Windermere confirmed McMillan worked with the company since last year but has been “released from the office.”

A review of the same livestreams, photos, and police body camera images revealed a “Suspect 2” at the Molotov cocktail incidents and fires including on early September incident in which a toss from “S2” fell well short of the precinct building at 12th and Pine.

Police say they also identified McMillan’s 2001 Volvo near 11th and E Howell the night of the early September arson attack and that the chat records reveal her talking about real estate industry related activities with Greenburg.

The chat records plus chat sessions from Facebook in the court records paint a picture of a budding friendship between Greenburg and McMillan over their actions. At one point, the chatters discuss getting tattoos together to commemorate their actions. “I wanted to say you’ve always been such a good friend. I really appreciate that about you,” police say McMillan wrote in one session after detectives had seized his phone and the duo’s worries grew about the investigation closing in around them. “Thank you,” Greenburg replied. “I appreciate that and I have always appreciated the kindness and caring for both me and the revolution. I’m glad I have you as a great protest buddy.”

As two black bloc demonstrators now face the court system, protests have continued but at a much smaller scale than the massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations of the summer. The nearly nightly efforts across Capitol Hill have taken on an anti-police and anti-large corporation focus with continuing clashes with SPD and property damage at businesses like the many area Starbucks shops. Meanwhile, police have formed a new 100-officer team to focus on protest duties and 911 calls.

The investigation, meanwhile, into another high profile incident the night of the bike attack continues. Videos from the clash showed one officer roll his bike over the head of a protester witnesses say was injured and lying in the street. The matter was referred to the Office of Police Accountability for further investigation, police said, but there has been no further public update. Protester Camillo Massagli has continued to see his “Trumpet Man” profile rise despite being injured in the incident.

Their story of Greenburg and McMillan, meanwhile, joins growing evidence that 2020 protest activity involves people without connections to formal organizations or radical groups. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that most of the people being arrested in this year’s protests across the country have had “no previous run-ins with the law and no apparent ties to antifa, the umbrella term for leftist militant groups.”

Jail records show McMillan was arrested and released last week. Greenburg remains jailed on $750,000 bail.


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Shuffles
Shuffles
1 month ago

Crime is crime and should be punished, but I’ve never seen SPD put as many resources into investigating crimes against other people in the general public.

HTS3
HTS3
1 month ago
Reply to  Shuffles

Okay, would you expect them to put as much effort and resources into say a stolen car or burglary, as in this case where there is a coordinated action that has resulted in deaths, arson and attempted arson on countless businesses and a police precinct, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and a massive, disruptive impact on residents and businesses in a key part of our city?

Chairman Ben
Chairman Ben
1 month ago
Reply to  Shuffles

First-degree charges filed for the bat attack and Molotov cocktail assault on SPD officers could easily be for attempted murder.

Kwan
Kwan
1 month ago
Reply to  Chairman Ben

How about a first degree murder charge on Cesar Molina and his coworkers on falsifying testimony, the King County Sheriff Deputy who shot Tommy Lê on his back in Burien 3 years ago. Police always lies and none of these murderous officers get charged. Or Ian Birk, the SPD officer that shot John T. Williams on his back and pointed a gun on his dying body for over 10 minutes? Does the state ever give justice to police victims?

Dustin
Dustin
1 month ago

So none of the arrested black bloc people even live in Capitol hill?

Maggie
Maggie
1 month ago
Reply to  Dustin

Nope, they come in and trash our neighborhood and then return to their cushy homes in Kirkland and Edmonds, like the privileged white kids they are. Greenburg even cost his mommy $20,000 in bail. Must be nice to come from a family that has $20,000 to throw around.

QuestionY
QuestionY
1 month ago
Reply to  Maggie

$20K will be a walk in the park compared to the legal bills Young Jacob will be racking up for his parents.

Steve-Dave
Steve-Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Maggie

I highly doubt that someone with the name ‘Greenburg’ identifies as white.

D Del Rio
D Del Rio
30 days ago
Reply to  Maggie

Not playing devils advocate, but when people always talk about white suburban people, you realize that most suburbs in King County are actually more diverse than Seattle. Not just blue collar South King County. Bellevue and Redmond too. I’m pretty sure Edmonds and Kirkland will catch up too.

Happy Gentifried
Happy Gentifried
28 days ago
Reply to  Maggie

“ that most suburbs in King County are actually more diverse than Seattle.”

When Seattle liberals talk about diversity they mean “more likely to steal your hubcaps” and not “knows an amazing Bengali restaurant at Crossroads”.

d4l3d
d4l3d
1 month ago
Reply to  Dustin

I see no evidence in the article they were Black Bloc affiliated. Salacious wishing doesn’t make it so. BB is usually a loose knit coordinated team with a goal, manifesto and a temporary organizer. It’s called Propaganda of the Deed and was considered a failed tactic long ago.

Glenn
Glenn
1 month ago

Why point out Greenberg has been identifed as a stepson of a former legislator by “conservative media.” Would you label other revelations as reported by liberal media? I don’t think so.

So nice to see all these little shitheads rolling into town from Kirkland and Olympia in their Lezus and Volvo’s to trash our neighborhood. What has struck me is how many of these people aren’t even from Seattle, let alone Capitol Hill. Can’t they find a protest in their own towns? They are clearly playing at anarchy through their extended adolescence. I am happy to hear our little upper middle class Kirkland perpetrator is still incarcerated. Give him some time to munch on all he has done while staring at four gray walls.

RWK
RWK
1 month ago
Reply to  Glenn

Agree! Greenburg is about to experience some serious consequences of his criminal actions. My guess he will get some significant jail time….good!

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Glenn

I doubt you have as much problem with the Proud Boy shitheads rolling into Seattle and Portland.

I do agree it is too bad Greenburg and McMillan couldn’t keep things non-violent. They should have stuck to peaceful gatherings and marches every day. Those alone annoyed right wing racists and bigots enough.

Glenn
Glenn
30 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Yeah Tom, of course I must be a big fan of the Proud Boys because I don’t like seeing police officers hit in the back of the head with baseball bats by people who retreat home to mommy and daddy’s Kirkland home every night to exchange protest highlights. I detest both groups and wish they would all stay in their own communities rather than coming to Capitol Hill over and over again to wreak havoc. And by wreak havoc I mean burning, breaking, defacing and destroying our businesses, residences, public facilities, infrastructure, etc.

Tom
Tom
29 days ago
Reply to  Tom

I hope you are more detested by cops murdering Black people than a small percentage of protesters causing property damages.

Based on what Trump has and hasn’t said about the far right, if you support him, you support the likes of Proud Boys.

Just sayin
Just sayin
1 month ago
Reply to  Glenn

Came here to comment on the “conservative media” thing. You’d hope that any media would report that fact. It’s relevant and of interest to the public.

Glenn
Glenn
30 days ago
Reply to  Just sayin

Only if you are equally ok with pointing out liberal media in a similar way, which I do not think this blog would do, much as I appreciate the service it provides. I personally read about Laura Ruderman being the stepmom of the perpetrator here in the Seattle Times. Much as some might characterize it as conservative media, it hardly merits such a description.

Dustin
Dustin
1 month ago

Lol, AP still trying hard to parse what “Antifa” is. Those of us who live on the hill and have had to deal with these people all summer know EXACTLY what Antifa is and what they bring to the party. Whether they are connected to some national Antifa chapter is irrelevant. It’s their violent, anti-First Amendment actions that make them Antifa.

Jim98122x
Jim98122x
1 month ago
Reply to  Dustin

There is no national ANTIFA chapter.

Mimi
Mimi
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim98122x

The dance of semantics trying to prove that Antifa doesn’t exist is over. The thugs in black are no different than Trump, Bannon or Putin, trying to dismantle our society by any means possible.

And saying a Jew doesn’t identify as white (see above) is some kind of twisted thinly veiled antisemitism. Why moderate comments if this kind of thing is allowed?

Moving On
Moving On
1 month ago

Oh, what? These are a bunch of white kids from out of town who come here, break stuff, and instigate violence at the expense of the Black Lives Matter movement, racial justice, actual support for homeless people, small businesses, and our neighborhood?

Never would have guessed.

Now give our park back.

Kwan
Kwan
1 month ago
Reply to  Moving On

It seems like all of you have forgotten about the (history of) police violence. How is your neighborhood trash when people of color were killed by police on a day to day basis? Are any of you aware that Capitol Hill has historically been anarchist, because they state/police has been oppressing LGBTQIA people for decades. The diverse culture of Capitol Hill started when they resisted against police harassment in the 70’s and the 80’s and formed their own communities.

Maggie
Maggie
1 month ago
Reply to  Kwan

The inconvenient reality, Kwan, is that most of the people on this blog are probably liberals like myself who don’t see the issue as an either/or situation, where we must accept explosions going off all night long in our neighborhood and local businesses being trashed in the name of ending police violence. Every single complaint I made this summer to Durkan, Sawant, and the OIG was about the actions of the police during these standoffs, not the protesters.

I keep seeing idealistic comments about how we were an anarchist city, or how the rioters are no different than the Boston Tea Party. The fact is, there is a major difference between today and back then, and that is that we have a Republican Media operation designed to use guys like Greenburg to turn millions of people away from BLM. And you’ll notice that not a single MSM operation embraces leftwing violence or excuses it the way conservative media excuses violence on their side. So guys like Greenburg are shunned by both sides and only serve to hurt BLM in the eyes of a largely less informed general public who, like it or not, you need to persuade to vote in order to get the changes you want to see. And it doesn’t help that these protesters have chosen not to have spokespeople, so they aren’t advocating for themselves, either. So the general public only gets to view the narrative of MSM or Conservative media.

Moving On
Moving On
30 days ago
Reply to  Kwan

I’ve been an LGBTQ person in Capitol Hill for 30 years Kwan, so I don’t need you to explain either the history of the LGBTQ movement or the neighborhood to me.

Thanks though.

Susi Stuart
Susi Stuart
1 month ago

Damn now that summer’s over, all y’all don’t give a shit anymore, huh?

Two white kids from the burbs get caught and all of the sudden, all of ENDD is a sham to you?

Trash humans, move out of Capitol Hill if your first concern is “GIVE ME MY PARK BACK.”

cpfd
cpfd
30 days ago
Reply to  Susi Stuart

Give us our parks back!

I'm a gamer
I'm a gamer
30 days ago
Reply to  Susi Stuart

“Y’all” coin achieved! Prepare to move to “Pearl Clutch” as you advance toward “Bootlick” level.

Moving On
Moving On
30 days ago
Reply to  Susi Stuart

No, Susi, it’s because you guys blew it. You destroyed a ton of good will, as well as our neighborhood. Endangered residents, were complicit in the murder of multiple black young people, and used mentally ill, drug addicted homeless people as human shields. It’s extremely gross.

Meanwhile, since I continue to care about actual black lives, police violence, and solutions to chronic homelessness, I continue my own commitments to those causes in ways that advance rather than undermine them.

And I somehow manage to refrain from going to other people’s neighborhoods and trashing them, and also from going to places honoring other oppressed minority groups and deciding they should honor queer history instead.

Now give our park back.