AUSTIN — A San Antonio man was sentenced today to 72 months in prison for arson.
According to court documents, on September 29, 2021, 31-year-old Ryan Taylor Faircloth threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of the Travis County Democratic Party office in downtown Austin, causing a fire. Faircloth admitted to targeting the political party office because he opposed positions he believed were being taken by the Democratic Party. A Good Samaritan was able to extinguish the fire before 911 responders arrived.
On January 10, 2022, Faircloth pleaded guilty to one count of arson. In addition to the jail sentence, Faircloth was ordered to pay $12,472.84 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.
“Violence in the political process is unacceptable,” said US attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “We must all respect the rule of law. Those who commit acts of violence or destroy property for political or ideological purposes will be held accountable for their crimes. My office will continue to investigate and bring to justice anyone who uses acts of violence to hurt, intimidate or coerce their fellow citizens into participating in the political process.
“Those who commit violence for an ideological agenda will be held accountable for their actions,” said FBI San Antonio Special Agent Oliver E. Rich Jr.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the Austin Police and Fire Department, investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys G. Karthik Srinivasan and Michael C. Galdo prosecuted the case.