PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Fourteen of the 21 people arrested Tuesday night after a rally for a man who was critically injured in an officer-involved moped crash over the weekend devolved into chaos faced a judge Wednesday.
Jhamal Gonsalves, 24, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition Sunday night immediately following the crash, which occurred as officers were attempting to reel in hundreds of off-road vehicles that took to the city streets.
Hundreds of people gathered less than two miles from the crash site Tuesday to rally behind Gonsalves. The group ultimately marched to the Providence Public Safety Complex, where they were met by dozens of officers in riot gear.
While a majority of the crowd dispersed around 8 p.m., a smaller group stayed behind and began lighting off fireworks in close proximity to the officers who were holding the line. People were also seen throwing bricks, water bottles and rocks at the officers.
Providence Police Col. Hugh Clements said five officers were hit by projectiles. One of those officers, he said, was transported to the hospital with a “concussion-type injury.”
Clements said that officer is expected to be OK, and his helmet saved him from a much more serious injury.
In total, Providence Police Col. Hugh Clements said 21 people were arrested, including 16 men, five women and one juvenile.
Most notably, David Hedges, 27, of Woonsocket, is facing two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon after prosecutors allege he threw fireworks at police officers. He’s also being charged with possession of those fireworks, which are illegal in Rhode Island.
Hedges was was released on $5,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing in January.
Gabriel Munoz, 25, of Little Compton, also faced a judge Wednesday and is charged with assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Of the 12 others that were arraigned, 10 are charged with disorderly conduct. The other two were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
All except for Hedges and Jerome Massey, 39, of Newport, are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 10 for a pre-trial hearing. Massey pleaded no contest Wednesday and received six months probation.
Gonsalves’ family attended the rally, but left long before the it devolved into chaos.
His mother, Tia Tribble, said while they are thankful for the support from the community, they do not condone the violence that occurred Tuesday night, nor do they want it to be associated with her son’s name.