Brainerd man pleads guilty to Minneapolis Police Third Precinct arson

Robinson is the second man to plead guilty to the Third Precinct arson and will be sentenced at a later date.

Dylan Shakespeare Robinson

A Brainerd man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for his role in the fire that destroyed the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building during the May riots that followed the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald announced on Tuesday the guilty plea of Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 23, to one count of conspiracy to commit arson. Robinson entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the Robinson’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, on the night of May 28, 2020, Robinson went to the Third Precinct where a crowd of hundreds had gathered. At one point, the crowd began shouting, “Burn it down, burn it down.”

Soon after, a fence that was designed to keep trespassers out of the Third Precinct building was torn down. Robinson, along with other co-conspirators, breached the fence and entered the Third Precinct building. Robinson lit a device held by an unidentified co-conspirator who threw it toward the Third Precinct building with the intent to start a fire or fuel an existing fire.

Robinson fled the state following the arson and was apprehended by ATF agents and U.S. Marshals about two weeks later in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Robinson is the second man to plead guilty to the Third Precinct arson and will be sentenced at a later date. On Nov. 19, 2020, co-conspirator Bryce Michael Williams pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson for his role in the arson at the Third Precinct building.

Bryce Michael Williams

This case is the result of an investigation conducted jointly by the ATF, the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division.

The ATF is still seeking persons of interest in the May riot fires in the Twin Cities and in fires set during the downtown Minneapolis riot on Aug. 26.

Anyone with information on any of the incidents or suspects is urged to contact the ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS, ATFtips@atf.gov, or through Reportit.com.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.