A jury convicted two people last week in connection with a riot in Lancaster City in 2020 that followed an officer-involved shooting.
Taylor Enterline, 23, of Manheim, and Lee Wise, 31, of Camp Hill, were convicted on charges of riot, failure to disperse, obstructing highways, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass for their roles in the riot in front of the Lancaster City Bureau of Police station the night of Sept. 13 into Sept. 14 in 2020. Enterline and Wise were found not guilty on a third-degree felony charge of conspiracy to commit riot.
The jury returned its verdict after about 90 minutes of deliberations on Jan. 19, concluding a three-day trial in front of Lancaster County Judge Merrill Spahn. The riot charge the pair were convicted on is a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Wise and Enterline were two of 11 adults arrested following the protest that escalated into violence and property destruction near the intersection of North Prince and West Chestnut Streets in Lancaster following an officer-involved shooting earlier in the day on Sept. 13 with Lancaster resident Ricardo Muñoz, 27, outside his home.
Muñoz, who charged at an officer with a knife, was shot and killed in the altercation. Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams later found the officer’s use of force to be justified.
According to the District Attorney’s office:
A group of more than 100 protesters gathered at an access ramp on the west side of the police station in the evening of Sept. 13, moving up the ramp of the building after officers used a public address system to issue several warnings that chemical munitions would be deployed in the crowd.
The group ignored police instructions, and chemical munitions were deployed to disperse them. Individuals began throwing the chemical munitions back at officers, while also tossing water bottles, glass, rocks, bricks, gallon jugs of liquids and parts of plastic road barricades at the line of police on the ramp.
An individual in the group lit an umbrella on fire, placing it in a Lancaster County Detective vehicle and causing a total loss. Others began throwing bricks at the Lancaster police station and post office, breaking windows and damaging a Lancaster Parking Authority vehicle.
A dumpster was also moved to the corner of North Prince and West Chestnut Streets where it was lit on fire by members of the group before police forced the crowd to disperse.
Judge Spahn ordered a pre-sentence investigation for Wise and Enterline before they are sentenced at a future date. The pair remain free on $50,000 unsecured bail.
Enterline was one of the protesters arrested after the riot whose bail was initially set at $1 million by District Judge Bruce Roth, while Wise’s bail was initially set at $100,000. County Judge Dennis Reinaker reduced bail for Wise, Enterline and other defendants a few days after the arrest.
Wise, who identifies as a transgender female named “Alexa,” started a GoFundMe account after his conviction in an attempt to raise funds for his legal fees and an appeal. As of Tuesday Wise had raised $1,400 in a goal of $20,000.
“This was anything but typical in that there were agitators who weren’t part of the demonstration who came and caused damage which invoked a police response.” Wise said on his GoFundMe page. “Police used their ordinance against the demonstrators instead of the agitators, and it became total chaos, turning what could have been a beautiful event into a disaster.”
First Deputy District Attorney Cody Wade prosecuted the cases against Wise and Enterline, while Assistant District Attorney Kyle Linardo assisted in the prosecution. Lancaster City Bureau of Police Lieutenant Philip Berkheiser filed charges and testified in the case.
Of the other individuals charged in the incident from Sept. 13, most have had their cases resolved. The status of the other charged individuals include:
- Jessica Lopez, 34, of Lancaster, was found guilty by a jury on Nov, 10 of riot, criminal conspiracy, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, obstruction of highways and defiant trespass. Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 3.
- Dylan Davis, 30, of Ephrata, was found guilty by Judge Merrill Spahn on Nov. 7 of riot, criminal conspiracy, failure to disperse, obstruction of highways, disorderly conduct and dangerous burning. Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 3.
- T-Jay Fry, 30, of Lancaster, pled guilty to failure to disperse and defiant trespass on Sept. 8. He was ordered to pay fines and court costs.
- Barry Jones III, 32, of York, was found guilty of failure to disperse and sentenced to time served to 12 months in prison plus 25 hours of community service on July 19.
- Talia Gessner, 21, of York, pled guilty to riot, criminal conspiracy, failure to disperse, obstruction of highways, disorderly conduct, defiant trespass, and dangerous burning on July 14 and was sentenced to time served to 23 months in prison.
- Christopher Vazquez, 33, of Lancaster, pled guilty to two counts of riot, two counts of reckless burning, two counts of disorderly conduct, four counts of institutional vandalism and one count of failure to disperse on May 6 and was sentenced to 52 months to 9 years in prison. Vazquez was convicted for destroying two vehicles, smashing windows at the Lancaster police station and downtown post office and causing other damage.
- Jamal Newman Jr., 26, of Lancaster, pled guilty to riot, criminal conspiracy, failure to disperse, obstruction of highways, disorderly conduct, loitering and prowling at nighttime, defiant trespass and dangerous burning on May 3 and was sentenced to time served to 23 months in prison plus two years probation.
- Yoshua Montague, 26, of York, pled guilty to carrying firearms without a license, riot, criminal conspiracy, failure to disperse, obstruction of highways, disorderly conduct and dangerous burning on Feb. 22 and was sentenced to 45 days to 23 months in prison plus three years probation.
- Matthew Modderman, 33, of Lancaster, pled no contest to summary disorderly conduct on Nov. 30 and received a $300 fine. Modderman is an employee of LNP | LancasterOnline.
- Kathryn Patterson, 23, of Mercersburg, has a pending case with a court appearance scheduled for Feb. 21.