Vandals damage federal buildings in Philadelphia; 7 arrested

National News

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A group of people dressed in black vandalized at least two federal buildings in downtown Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve, and police said they recovered Molotov cocktails and other suspicious devices as they arrested seven of them, authorities said Friday.

Officers spotted about 50 people, all in black, around 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the historic U.S. Customs House, police said.

And a 25-year-old man was seen throwing a brick through the windows of a federal building and courthouse shortly before 9 p.m., police said. He fled with a 24-year-old man and two 23-year-old women, all of whom were arrested.

Damage to the building was estimated at about $3,000. Anti-police and anti-prison graffiti were scrawled on walls, a sheriff’s van was defaced and several windows were broken.

Three other people were also arrested in the area, a 25-year-old man and two women ages 22 and 26. Police said the man was carrying a glass jar with a fuse that had “a strong flammable odor,” as well as a plastic container with white powder labeled “Fire Starter.”

The younger woman had bottles with liquids that had “a chemical smell,” they said.

Chief Inspector Mike Cram earlier told reporters that officers recovered what he called “numerous Molotov cocktails and some other devices which haven’t been identified.”

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