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Grand Rapids woman urged others to burn or destroy property, riot charge states

Alexandria Lyons, who has a criminal past, is the second person charged in a weekend riot that heavily damaged public and private property in downtown Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A second person faces felony charges stemming from a weekend riot in Grand Rapids, and Silent Observer is offering cash for tips that lead to further arrests and prosecutions.

Alexandria Nicole Lyons, who has a history of criminal behavior, engaged in conduct “that urged other persons to commit unlawful burning or destruction of property’’ in downtown Grand Rapids, a felony complaint states. 

The charge of riot – inciting, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

She's also charged with malicious destruction of property for damage at a county-owned building at 82 Ionia Avenue NW. The four-story building houses circuit court probation, Friend of the Court, and the Kent County Prosecutors Office.

Lyons, 22, has an address on the Southwest Side of Grand Rapids. Her criminal past includes a 2017 drug conviction in Ottawa County, which put her in jail and on probation.

She was released from the Kent County Jail Tuesday evening after posting a $40,000 bond. 

Investigators say Lyons posted an online video that encouraged others to destroy property and loot.

Her arraignment Tuesday comes the same day Silent Observer announced it was offering rewards starting at $200 for information leading to the arrest of individuals involved in the rioting.

“People are outraged. They want to get involved,’’ said Silent Observer Executive Director Chris Cameron. “They want to see these people brought to justice.’’

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says more felony charges are likely as investigators sift through tips, video and images that have been forwarded to law enforcement.

“They’re looking at videos and we are investigating as we speak, ’’ Becker said. “We expect more to come through in the next few days.’’

The first person to be prosecuted, 18-year-old Adrian Keech Baker, faces several charges, including riot, a 10-year felony. The Van Buren County man is free after posting a $5,000 bond.

Cameron said Silent Observer received 60 tips Sunday and Monday linked to the riots. Some of the tips offered information on Lyons and Baker.

“And when we received those tips, we immediately sent them to police for follow-up,’’ Cameron said.

Business owner Chuni L. Raniga has operated Superior Watch Repair downtown for 50 years. The front windows of his store on Monroe Center NW were smashed and inventory hauled out by looters.

It is a similar story up and down Monroe Center NW.

It is, Raniga says, a double hit. He’s been closed since March due to coronavirus restrictions.

“It’s a tragedy; there’s not much I can do,’’ Raniga said. “I’ll try to continue as long as I can.’’

In terms of justice, “that’s the police’s job,’’ Raniga said. “I have no say in that.’’

Grand Rapids police on Tuesday said the department is closing an online portal that allowed community members to submit tips, videos and pictures.

“The portal has received over 20,000 submissions and will now be closing so detectives can move on to the next step of the investigations,’’ a city news release stated.

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