FARGO — An Alexandria man has been charged in connection to the May 30 riot in downtown Fargo that included fires and broken windows.
Zachariah Michael Vernon Coss, 22, of Alexandria, Minn., was charged with a felony of burglary, as well as misdemeanor charges of engaging in a riot and disobedience to public orders, after police said he went into the JL Beers restaurant and beer in downtown Fargo and filled his pockets with beer bottles, according to court documents.
Despite being masked, police said they were able to identify Coss using photos from the protest posted on his Facebook profile, specifically with an image that showed his tattoo that says “Drunk Life,” and comparing them to drone footage and other videos, court documents said.
Coss is originally from Monterey, Calif., according to his Facebook page.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 11, about two dozen protesters have been charged in connection to the riot that came in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Others recently charged by Cass County prosecutors were Fargo residents Nicolai Kevin Westrum, 20, and Vyamungu Claude, 23.
Westrum faces the most serious charges connected to the protest that turned violent in the downtown area. Video allegedly shows Westrum jumping up and down on top of a dumpster before throwing rocks at officers, according to court documents. He was also seen throwing chairs out of JL Beers and causing more than $18,000 in damage, the court documents alleged.
He was charged with felonies of arming rioters and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, both of which carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, as well as attempted assault on a police officer, which can carry a five-year prison sentence. He also faces several misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass, engaging in a riot and disobedience to public orders during a riot.
Claude faces misdemeanor charges of engaging in a riot and disobedience after police said he took a garbage can and threw it down the street, according to court documents. Police also alleged he threw objects at officers.