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Person from North Carolina arrested following demonstration in Carbondale

Thomas Bruefach MUG

CARBONDALE, IL (WSIL) -- Police say one person was caught on camera spray painting a wall in the 500 block of South University Avenue on Sunday. It happened as a group of 30 people were demonstrating in town.

Carbondale police say their officers helped provide traffic control for the protest through downtown starting at 6 p.m.

Around 90 minutes later an officer learned about the graffiti and a witness shared cell phone video showing the vandalism.

After the protest had ended officers located the suspect in the 400 block of South Washington Street around 8:30 p.m.

Community advocates tell News 3 the person arrested is trans woman Cat Bruefach who Carbondale police identified as 20-year-old Thomas Bruefach.

Investigators say Bruefach resisted arrest.

According to a press release from Carbondale Police:

"...three people who were a part of a larger group approached the officers during the arrest. One officer deployed pepper spray in the direction of the three people after they refused to comply with the officer’s verbal directions to retreat. One of the members of the larger group subsequently struck a police vehicle containing the person arrested with a flag pole."

Bruefach was taken to the Carbondale Police Department and ordered to appear in court for the following ordinance violations:

  • Criminal Damage to Property
  • Resisting a Peace Officer

Updated Release From Carbondale Police:

On Sunday evening an individual was arrested for criminal damage to property and a news release regarding the incident was disseminated. Following the news release there has been concern expressed from the LGBTQ community and others regarding the misgendering and deadnaming of the individual who was arrested. Specifically, those concerns include information that the individual is, and/or identifies as, a transgender female with a different name.

Subsequently, an internal review was conducted and has determined that the individual arrested provided only one name at the time of arrest, along with specific personal identifiers associated with that name. The name provided, Thomas Shane Bruefach, matches national law enforcement database records and is the name included in the original news release. At no time during police custody did the arrestee acknowledge to the Carbondale Police Department that they were transgender or preferred being called by another name. Although we are not aware of any other legally registered name, we are certainly willing to include or correct any information which was previously provided, but that personal information would have to be provided by the person arrested.

We value the relationships we have with our residents and all of our community groups, including our LGBTQ community. We remain committed to working with, and will continue to support the rights of all of those who are a part of our diverse community.

Jeff Weinrich

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