Carbondale, IL (STL.News) On June 28, 2020 at approximately 6:00 p.m., City of Carbondale Police Officers monitored a group of approximately 30 people demonstrating and marching through the City as a part of a planned protest. Officers assisted the demonstrators by providing them protection from vehicular traffic as they marched in the downtown streets. At approximately 7:30 p.m., a witness in the area of the protest reported to an assisting officer that one of the demonstrators had spray painted a private property retaining wall in the 500 block of South University Avenue. The witness provided a video of the vandalism.
Following the protest, at approximately 8:30 p.m., officers located the vandalism suspect in the 400 block of South Washington Street. The suspect is identified as Thomas Bruefach, 20 years old, of North Carolina. Bruefach resisted officers’ efforts to arrest him and while that was occurring, three people who were a part of a larger group approached the officers during the arrest. One officer deployed pepper spray in the direction of the three people after they refused to comply with the officer’s verbal directions to retreat. One of the members of the larger group subsequently struck a police vehicle containing the person arrested with a flag pole.
Officers transported Bruefach to the Carbondale Police Department and issued him notices to appear in court for Carbondale City Ordinance violations of Criminal Damage to Property and Resisting a Peace Officer. Bruefach was released with pending court dates.
There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident and the police vehicle which was struck was not damaged. Additional graffiti was reported following this incident but it is unknown at this time if the graffiti is associated with any of the demonstrators who were a part of this protest. This incident is still actively being investigated.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the City of Carbondale Police Department at (618) 457-3200. You may also call the Carbondale/SIU Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (618) 549-COPS (2677) or the Murphysboro/Jackson County anonymous tip line at (618) 687-COPS (2677). Anonymous tips may also be made by selecting the “Crime Stoppers” tab located on the main page of this website. Please help yourself, along with your county, its communities and the university campus by using these numbers if you witness, or have any information pertaining to, a crime. Cash rewards for information which leads to an arrest are also made anonymously. Remember, crime doesn’t pay, but Crime Stoppers does!