Police charge 2nd man in arson during Ottawa convoy protest
Still no information linking accused with protest, Ottawa police say
A second man has been charged after an attempted arson in a downtown Ottawa apartment building during the so-called Freedom Convoy, but police again say they haven't uncovered anything linking the accused with the protest.
The incident on Lisgar Street Feb. 6 prompted city politicians and some of the building's residents to link the event to the protest, which occupied streets in front of Parliament Hill and angered downtown residents for more than three weeks.
On March 21, a little more than two weeks ago, Ottawa police charged a 21-year-old Ottawa man in connection with the incident and said they were hoping to identify a second suspect.
On Wednesday, police said a 41-year-old Ottawa man is facing the same set of charges as the 21-year-old: arson with disregard for human life, arson causing property damage, mischief to property, mischief to property endangering life, and possessing incendiary material.
In news releases announcing both sets of charges, police said there is "no information" indicating the men were "involved in any way" with the protest.
Residents found fire-starting bricks in lobby
A resident of the building, who spoke to CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning in the days after the arson attempt, said residents discovered fire-starting bricks in the lobby early that morning.
He said he'd reviewed security footage and described seeing two individuals lighting a fire in the lobby.
The incident happened the same day the city declared a state of emergency over the ongoing protests in the downtown core.
The following day, during a city council meeting, Mayor Jim Watson included the arson in a list of incidents of harassment against residents and disruptions he blamed on the ongoing protest.
Coun. Diane Deans also cited an alleged detail from witnesses — that the front door was duct-taped to prevent those outside from entering the building — which she said showed the escalation of protester tactics knew no bounds.