Cedar Park man sentenced for attempting to make Molotov cocktail during 2020 protest

A Cedar Park man was sentenced to two years in federal prison for possessing parts of a Molotov cocktail. The Department of Justice said he had the intent to construct a Molotov cocktail during a protest in Austin on May 30, 2020.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, 27-year-old Cyril Lartigue was caught on camera making a destructive device while in a parking lot directly across from the Austin Municipal Court entrance.

While he was making the device, he was interrupted by Austin police officers headed his way.

DOJ said Lartigue fled the area and left the device behind, but returned within minutes to get it. A short time later, officers arrested Lartigue inside a nearby portable toilet where he had changed clothes.

Inside his backpack officers recovered materials used to manufacture a destructive device, including beer bottles, a bottle with lighter fluid, cloth rags, and a butane lighter along with the clothes he was previously wearing, the DOJ said.

"The sentence imposed today demonstrates our office’s commitment to the prosecution of violent crime," said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. "Peaceful protest cannot and must not be conflated with violence and the construction of dangerous weapons like Molotov cocktails. The prosecution and sentence in this case should serve as a deterrent to those considering similar acts in the future." 

Lartigue was convicted following a jury trial in October 2021. 

The ATF, Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Keith Henneke and Gabriel Cohen are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Man convicted for attempting to make Molotov cocktail during protest
Unlit Molotov cocktail found near portable toilet near Municipal Court
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