FARGO — A Fargo police sergeant feared she would be killed when demonstrators surrounded a squad car she was in and one of the protesters began kicking in the vehicle's windshield.
That's according to court documents filed Monday, June 1, in Cass County District Court against one of nine people now charged in connection with Saturday's rioting in downtown Fargo, which followed a day of mostly peaceful demonstrations intended to honor the memory of George Floyd.
Floyd, who is black, died May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody, an incident that has set off waves of protests across the country.
Of nine people charged in Cass County District Court in connection with Saturday's rioting, seven face misdemeanor counts and two face felony and misdemeanor counts.
Errick Steven Toa, 33, of Fargo, is one of those facing felony charges, including felony inciting a riot and felony terrorizing. He also faces misdemeanor charges of engaging in a riot and criminal mischief.
Toa is accused of climbing onto the hood of a Fargo squad car that was occupied by a sergeant and a detective and kicking the vehicle's windshield, causing $2,000 worth of damage.
Because of nearby people and vehicles, the besieged squad car could not escape the area safely, according to the sergeant's report on the incident.
"I felt like a sitting duck at that moment and thought, we're dead," the sergeant said in her report.
Also charged Monday was Teddy Anthony Mata Jr., 26, of Fresno, Calif., who faces a felony charge of arming rioters and a misdemeanor charge of engaging in a riot. The felony charge alleges Mata was knowingly armed with a firearm while engaging in a riot.
According to court documents, Mata was one of several hundred people participating in "tumultuous and violent conduct" Saturday that officers felt was creating a grave danger to people and property.
Documents also say officers believed Mata was trying to take a leadership role by urging the crowd to engage in violent activity and at one point a police sergeant spotted what he believed to be a handgun in Mata's waistband.
That prompted the sergeant to draw his stun gun and order Mata to put his hands up.
Mata replied, "I don't have anything to do with this," and began walking quickly away, according to court documents.
The officer used his stun gun on Mata, who fell to the ground. When Mata was handcuffed, a 9 mm handgun was found on him along with two magazines of ammunition, according to the court documents.
The detective who was with the sergeant in the vehicle Toa is accused of attacking said in a report filed with court documents that when the squad's windshield was kicked tiny pieces of glass showered the vehicle's interior.
The detective said in her report she thought the entire windshield "was going to crash in on us" with the attacker falling in as well.