Man arrested, charged with arson in 2023 protest of public safety training center, APD announcesJohn Robert Mazurek, 30, faces a first-degree arson charge. Photo provided by Atlanta News First
By Hope Dean, Atlanta News First
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — A man was arrested Thursday morning in connection to a protest against Atlanta police and the controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, officials said in a press conference.
John Robert Mazurek, 30, faces a first-degree arson charge. Multiple agencies took him into custody while searching three locations believed to contain evidence related to the multiple arson and vandalism incidents, according to Atlanta Police Department Chief Darin Schierbaum.
Mazurek is accused of being involved in the July 2023 arson of an occupied police special operations center. Eight motorcycles were set on fire in the parking deck on the 1000 block of South Side Industrial Park, according to police.
“The people of Atlanta deserve to be protected by well-trained, well-equipped first responders,” Schierbaum said. “You can chant all day long, ‘If you build it, we will burn it.’ But if you set police cars on fire, we’re gonna find you and we’re gonna arrest you.”
A spokesperson from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed the three locations searched early Thursday were homes. One was near the intersection of Jordan Street and Jonesboro Road in southeast Atlanta, while the second was also in Atlanta and the third was in unincorporated DeKalb County.
The search for suspects also crosses state borders. On Jan. 17, police announced the arrest of 23-year-old Seth Brock Spigner in South Carolina. Spigner is accused of setting construction equipment on fire and spray-painting phrases like “Stop Cop City” in Summerville. The company targeted has a “loose connection” to the training center’s construction in Atlanta, Schierbaum said.
In December, police announced a $200,000 reward for anyone who could give information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arson suspects. It was advertised on 450 billboards in cities like Detroit, Seattle, Nashville and New York, where police believe the suspects may have ties.
And in September, more than 60 people were indicted in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act case in connection to training center protests. Some of the defendants face other charges, including first-degree arson.
Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story.