BOSTON — A Worcester man was convicted today of civil disorder and unlawful possession of three Molotov cocktails during a protest in the city of Worcester over the murder of George Floyd.
Vincent Eovacious, 20, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to time served (approximately three days in jail) and three years of probation. The government recommended a sentence of 13 months in prison. In September 2021, Eovacious pleaded guilty to one count of civil disorder and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, which includes a Molotov cocktail.
On June 1, 2020, crowds gathered at various locations in Worcester, including South Main Street, to protest the killing of George Floyd. Around 10 p.m., a large crowd blocked traffic and began throwing rocks, bottles and other objects at the police. As officers at the scene gathered in defensive line formation, officers spotted Eovacious – dressed in a trench coat and carrying a satchel over his shoulder – standing above them on the roof of the one-story building at 848 Main Street. Eovacious seemed agitated, pacing on the roof and could be heard shouting at the crowd below to “kill the police”. Officers then observed Eovacious reach into the satchel and pull out a white cloth and a bottle containing a yellow-colored liquid. While holding what appeared to be a lighter in one hand, Eovacious attempted to insert the rag into the glass bottle. In response to this threat, the officers shone their flashlights at Eovacious, knocking him back off the edge of the roof and out of the officers’ direct line of sight. Minutes later, officers observed Eovacious walking in the May and Main Streets area, still carrying the satchel, and arrested him. They searched the satchel and recovered three clear glass bottles filled with gasoline, five white rags and two lighters. Eovacious admitted that the bottles contained gasoline and that he was “with the anarchist group” and “waiting for an opportunity”. At the time of his arrest, a partially filled gas can and other cloth rags were found in Eovacious’s vehicle.
“During what should have been a peaceful protest, Mr. Eovacious sought to incite violence by bringing with him dangerous Molotov cocktails and threatening to kill police officers,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said. “Protesting against injustice is legal. Violence, destruction and threats are not. My sincere thanks to our law enforcement partners for their work on this case as well as their daily work to protect our communities and guarantee the rights of everyone.
“This defendant possessed and recklessly attempted to use an explosive device that had the potential to cause significant damage and injure countless people,” said James M. Ferguson, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco , Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division. “ATF is committed to protecting our communities from harm and working with our law enforcement partners to disrupt violent activity.”
“Vincent Eovacious had no qualms about committing civil unrest and creating chaos by making Molotov cocktails with the apparent intention of throwing them at police officers, putting their lives and the lives of others in danger. His behavior was appalling, and this case should serve as a warning to others that you will face a swift law enforcement response and federal prosecution if you commit violent acts that violate federal law,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta , special agent in charge of the Boston Division of the FBI.
US Attorney Rollins, ATF SAC Ferguson, FBI SAC Bonavolonta and Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Danial E. Bennett of Rollins’ Worcester branch prosecuted the case.