Francis Carroll Fulton County Jail photo

ATLANTA – A Kennebunkport man released from a DeKalb County Georgia jail last month after posting bail in connection with charges including domestic terrorism, was arrested on misdemeanor and felony charges Saturday night after unrest broke out during a march in Atlanta.

Francis Carroll, 22, was among six people taken into custody by Atlanta police Saturday, Jan. 21. He was charged with four felony counts including arson in the first degree, domestic terrorism, criminal damage in the second degree, and interference with government property; and with four misdemeanors: riot, unlawful assembly, willfully obstructing a police officer and being a pedestrian in the roadway.

During a news conference later Saturday evening, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said a group began peacefully marching north on Peachtree Street shortly after 5 p.m. on Jan. 21.

“However, when that group arrived at the intersection of Ellis and Peachtree, a group inside that marching crowd decided to commit illegal acts that included breaking windows and attacking police cruisers,” said Schierbaum. He said the police department had been on hand to protect the marchers right to protest, but the focus changed as violence broke out. He said with the help of sheriff’s deputies and Georgia State Patrol, Atlanta police were able to stop the activity.

“We arrested six individuals who chose to take the First Amendment as a shield from illegal activity,” Schierbaum said. “We stopped the protest and had (the six) in custody.”

“Order has been restored in a swift manner,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “Atlanta police department will not tolerate this. We protect the right to peacefully protest but will not tolerate violence or property destruction.”


He said windows were broken in three businesses, and a police cruiser was set on fire.

Dickens said some of those taken into custody were found to have explosives on them. He did not elaborate, and no further information was immediately available.

“Make no mistake about it these individuals meant harm to people and to property,” Dickens said.

Just one of the six people arrested is a Georgia resident, both the mayor and police chief pointed out.

Schierbaum said police already know some of those involved in Saturday’s events and had been involved “in a manner to deter the building of the public safety training center.”

The police chief was referring to a $90 million police training facility, planned for in DeKalb County. Several protests have ensued, and some people have taken to camping in trees in the forest area in a bid to prevent construction.


Carroll was booked into Fulton County Georgia Jail on Sunday. No further information was available regarding a court appearance or bail at press time Tuesday morning.

He was released from DeKalb County Jail Dec. 29 after his arrest Dec. 13 on two counts of domestic terrorism, aggravated assault, interference with government property, all felonies, and misdemeanor criminal trespass in connection with an alleged violent protest at the planned training facility site. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Robin Mathewson on Dec. 27 ordered Carroll released on $13,500 cash or surety on the five charges. Conditions of release included that he stay away from the forest area and roads in and around the location of the training center property, that he have no contact with the four other defendants in the case, that he have no contact with the Defend the Atlanta Forest Organization through social media.

People charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Officers and a patrol car were attacked with rocks and incendiary weapons, DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston said following the December arrests.

The Atlanta Police Foundation intends to fund and build a state-of-the-art training facility on 85 acres and preserve the remaining portion of the 265-acres property as greenspace, which is currently not accessible to the public, according to city news releases.

The Jan. 21 riot in Atlanta and associated arrests came following a Jan. 18 law enforcement operation to identify people trespassing and allegedly committing other crimes in the forest site of the future training center.


According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, 25 campsites were located and removed and mortar style fireworks, multiple edged weapons, pellet rifles, gas masks, and a blow torch were recovered by police. Several people were arrested including Timothy Murphy, 25, of Rockport, Maine, who was charged with domestic terrorism and criminal trespass. He was released from DeKalb County Jail on Jan. 22, according to jail records.

During the Jan. 18 operation, officers located a man inside a tent in the woods.

“Officers gave verbal commands to the man who did not comply and shot a Georgia State Patrol trooper,” according to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation news release. “Other law enforcement officers returned fire, hitting the man. Law enforcement evacuated the trooper to a safe area. The man died on scene. The injured Georgia State Patrol trooper was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery.”

The man who died was later identified as Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, 26.

Comments are not available on this story.