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Man held for alleged torch attack during abortion protest

Arrest (FILE)
Posted at 4:06 PM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 19:06:37-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police arrested a man they said attacked an officer with a “makeshift flamethrower" or torch during a demonstration against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Michael Ortiz, 30, was arrested Friday night when he allegedly burned an officer who was treated at a hospital, KTLA-TV reported, citing police.

There was no immediate word on the officer's condition.

Ortiz remained jailed Sunday on $1 million bail, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department website.

He potentially faces a charge of attempted murder of a police officer. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney who speak on his behalf.

Police said the attack came during a mainly peaceful protest.

However, a woman was arrested after she allegedly tried to take an officer's baton and could face a possible charge of resisting arrest, police said.

Police Chief Michel Moore said he condemned the violence.

“Individuals participating in such criminal activity are not exercising their First Amendment rights in protest of the Supreme Court decision, rather, they are acting as criminals,” Moore said in a statement.

Other protests were held on Saturday around the state.