Man charged with setting fire at Broadway business during Nashville riots

Nashville Protests

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro police have arrested one of the people suspected of busting through the glass of a Broadway business and setting fire to items inside during riots the night of May 30.

Ryan Keith Ray, 33, was booked into the Metro jail Wednesday night on multiple charges, including arson, inciting riot, vandalism and burglary.

Ryan Ray (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

According to an arrest warrant, Ray was part of a crowd gathered around 9:15 p.m. in the area of Nashville’s Historic Courthouse. When police dispersed the crowd, the paperwork alleges Ray was captured on cell phone video telling the crowd, “Let’s go to Broadway! We’re going to tear sh*t up up. We’re about to f*ck Broadway up!”

About 15 minutes later, the warrant states security camera footage captured Ray and several other rioters break through the glass at Big Time Boots on Broadway, where Ray set fire to a shoe-box and piled other items on top in an attempt to make the fire larger. Police said Ray’s face was visible in the surveillance footage and his Facebook page showed images of him wearing the same Atlanta Falcons hat seen in the video.

An hour after the burglary and arson at Big Time Boots, officers said a crowd of about 40 people approached the 505 building on Church Street, where several people were then assaulted and property was vandalized. Court documents allege Ray was seen in a YouTube video striking a man’s vehicle with a “blunt object.”

Ray was held in the Metro jail on a $135,000 bond. Police said they are still looking for other people involved in the rioting on Broadway.


The latest on the protests and riots following the “I Will Breathe” rally in Nashville:


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