Staples man faces federal charges in Third Precinct arson

A Staples man is among at least ten people now federally charged related to the recent Twin Cities arson fires.

A self-described TikTok “influencer” and former college basketball coach from Staples, MN has been federally charged related to the Third Precinct arson blaze.

According to US Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, Bryce Michael Williams has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

According to the allegations in the complaint, on the night of May 28, 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct was overrun and heavily damaged due to vandalism and arson. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) identified multiple separate fires had been started in the building. 

Related Video: Third Precinct arson fires and looting

Investigators were able to identify Williams in surveillance video footage from the Third Precinct. Williams, wearing a mask, a baseball cap, and a hooded sweatshirt, can be seen in the video standing near the entrance of the Third Precinct holding a Molotov cocktail while other individuals attempt to light the wick, the charges say.

ATF investigators also reviewed videos that were posted on Williams’ TikTok account on May 28 and 29. In one of the videos, Williams can be seen standing in front of the burning Third Precinct building wearing clothing consistent with the clothing he was wearing in the Third Precinct surveillance video. In another video, Williams’ face is clearly visible and he appears to be in close proximity to the Third Precinct building.

(Surveillance image purports to show Williams approaching the entrance of the Third Precinct with a Molotov cocktail)

According to the complaint, Williams participated in an Instagram interview with an account called the “n830show” subsequent to the riots. Williams was asked by the interviewer whether he considered “burning down the buildings part of the rioting.”

“Yeah, definitely that’s part of rioting, it’s mass destruction — that’s what a riot is, it’s mass destruction,” Williams said.

Williams, 26, is a self-described TikTok “influencer” and creator, and he lists himself as a former Men’s Basketball Coach at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, according to his LinkedIn profile

Williams made his initial federal court appearance on Wednesday.

Related: St. Paul Man federally charged in Minneapolis Police Third Precinct arson

Williams is one of at least ten people who have been federally charged related to the riots and arsons that followed the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody in late May, and the ATF continues to release new information about other suspects wanted for questioning.

Continue to follow Alpha News for updates on suspects and charges related to the Twin Cities riots as they develop.


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