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Cedar Park Man Charged with Possession of Unregistered Destructive Device during Protest
Austin, Texas
   
 
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Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas filed a federal criminal complaint against 25-year-old Cyril Laurence Lartigue of Cedar Park, TX, for constructing and possessing a Molotov cocktail during a protest last week in Austin, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski, Houston Division.

The criminal complaint charges Lartigue with one count of possessing an unregistered destructive device.  According to the criminal complaint, on the evening of May 30, 2020, video cameras captured the defendant manufacturing a destructive device while in a parking lot directly adjacent to the Austin Municipal Court entrance.  While making the device, the defendant was interrupted by the oncoming presence of Austin Police Department officers heading in his direction.  Lartigue fled the area, leaving the device behind.  Within minutes, Lartigue returned to retrieve the destructive device he had manufactured. Subsequently, APD officers arrested Lartigue located inside a nearby portable toilet where he had changed clothes.  Inside his backpack, officers recovered materials used to manufacture an explosive device including a bottle containing lighter fluid, cloth rags, a butane lighter and the clothes he was previously wearing. 

Upon conviction, Lartigue faces up to ten years in federal prison.  He remains in federal custody at this time.

“The constitutional line is clear.  Speech and peaceful assembly are protected; violence is not.  If you bring a Molotov cocktail onto the streets of Austin, you can expect to go to federal prison,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.

“Destructive devices are volatile and inherently dangerous; ATF is proud to work with the Austin Police Department to keep our city safe,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Milanowski.

The ATF, Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety are investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Keith Henneke and Grant Sparks are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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