A woman has been charged with federal arson after she allegedly set fire to five police cars in Seattle last month, during heated protests in Seattle sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
Margaret Aislinn Channon, 25, from Washington state, had her face covered during the alleged fire bombings, but was identified by prosecutors by her “unique eyebrows”, and distinctive tattoos on her fingers and forearms.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington, Channon was caught on Seattle Police camera, social media videos and news broadcasts setting alight the police cars parked near Sixth Ave and Pine St in downtown Seattle on May 29 and 30.
“This defendant was captured by multiple cameras using an accelerant, lit like a blowtorch, to start fires in five vehicles — putting the public at risk and creating the very real possibility of a structure fire amidst the throng of people protesting downtown,” lawyer Brian Moran said.
Multiple images of a similar looking person, identified in the criminal complaint as Channon, appear to show her setting the car on fire with a firelighter like device.
Investigators linked descriptions of the tattoos to the report, and were able to trace this to social media accounts, and used this to identify Channon.
The criminal complaint described how the investigators identified Channon.
“She has both tattooed eyebrows and natural eyebrows, with the two failing to line-up perfectly,” the complaint said. “This results in uneven eyebrows that are thicker and thinner in certain places and are thus irregularly shaped.”
They said they were also able to spot her by her tattoos and the distinctive clothing she wore at the scene.
When investigators searched Channon’s home they allegedly found items of clothing she was seen wearing on the days of the alleged arson.
Channon is originally from Tacoma in Washington. A missing-person report was filed for her in Texas in 2019.
If convicted, she faces 10 years in prison for the federal charges.