Man charged with arson after attack on Democratic Party headquarters in Austin

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Ryan Faircloth, 30, has been charged with second-degree felony arson for an alleged attack on the Travis County Democratic Party Headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Ryan Faircloth faces two felony charges after being accused of arson.
According to authorities, he confessed to the crime on Friday.
No one was injured in the attack.
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A man who authorities say had political grievances over the direction of the country was arrested Friday after trying to start a fire at a Democratic Party office in Austin, Texas.

On Wednesday, the Travis County Democratic Party said its office had been vandalized the previous night and targeted with a „small incendiary explosive.” The fire was quickly put out.

At the time, Katie Naranjo, chair of the local party, described the incident as an „act of terror,” saying the arsonist had left a note trying „to terrorize people.”

Two days later, Ryan Faircloth, 30, was detained following a tip from an informant, local NBC affiliate KXAN reported. At a press conference, Captain Jeffrey Deane of Austin Fire Arson Investigations said that Faircloth had confessed to the crime and indicated that he „was not happy with the current political climate.”

According to an arrest warrant, the informant directed investigators to Faircloth’s Facebook page, where they discovered an incriminating post that matched the note found at the scene, KXAN reported.

Surveillance video shows a man walking by the party’s office with a bottle in his hand just after 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday, his face obscured by an American flag wrapped around his head. After he throws the object into the office, there is an explosion and a small fire.

The explosion occurred in the early morning hours of September 29, 2021.

Faircloth has been charged with second-degree felony arson and third-degree felony possession of a prohibited weapon, CBS Austin reported. If convicted of both charges, he could face between 4 and 30 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.

He remains behind bars as of Friday evening, his bond set at $40,000.

Cynthia Van Maanen, executive director of the Travis County Democratic Party, told Insider she was primarily „glad no one was injured in this attack.”

„We are grateful for our neighbors who saw the flames and acted quickly, and for the investigators who acted fast to identify and arrest the suspect,” she said.

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