33-year-old Ryan Ray was charged with inciting to riot, arson, four counts of vandalism, and two counts of burglary after setting a fire, stealing from multiple Broadway businesses, and trying to recruit a group of protestors to join him in the degradation of downtown Nashville by saying “We’re about to f*ck Broadway up!”
On May 30th, Ryan Ray was observed via video footage provoking participants in a Nashville protest to head towards Broadway, saying: “Let’s go to Broadway!”, “We’re going to tear shit up!” and “We’re about to fuck Broadway up!” Following Ray’s appeal for violence, video surveillance observed the man setting fire to empty boot boxes inside of Big Time Boots shoe store. The attempted arson caused damage to the building of the store as well as the owner’s personal property, per report.
Footage was additionally obtained of Ray unlawfully entering the Margaritaville restaurant located on 322 Broadway. According to the affidavit, Ray knowingly destroyed property inside of the building. The man allegedly entered the gift shop, bar and dining areas, stealing alcohol as well as merchandise from the American restaurant chain.
Ray was also identified from a YouTube video causing damage with what was believed to be a rake on two separate vehicles near the 505 Nashville Apartments located at 505 Church St. Ray was later identified through various forms of surveillance and footage. Investigators continue in attempts to identify additional parties responsible for the incident.
On July 1st, Ryan Ray was arrested and charged with inciting to riot, arson, four counts of vandalism and two counts of burglary. His bond was set at $135,000.