BALTIMORE – A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to puncturing a fire hose at the scene of a CVS pharmacy fire during April 2015 riots over the death of Freddie Gray.
Gregory Lee Butler Jr., 22, admitted to stabbing a fire hose in two places near where it was attached to a hydrant off the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues, hampering the fire department’s efforts to control the blaze.
Butler, who goes by “Greg Baly,” faces up to five years in prison on a federal indictment of obstruction of firefighters during a civil disorder, according to the District of Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for September 20. Butler was assigned federal public defenders Elizabeth Genevieve Oyer and Lucius Turner Outlaw III.
Oyer released a statement to CNN later Wednesday: “Greg regrets the decisions that he made last April 27 and he has accepted responsibility for his conduct. He is a hard-working young man and devoted father who is focusing on his family as he waits for the legal process to conclude.”
The police and fire departments responded to the fire and rioting at the CVS around 6:30 p.m. on April 27, 2015, according to the statement.
Riots broke out in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.
The death of the young African-American man sparked widespread protests, arson and looting and reignited long-simmering tensions between the police and residents.
The burning of the CVS was one of the most visual and memorable moments from the riots.