Police released video from the June 1 incident in downtown Riverside that shows a car stopping at the intersection of University Avenue and Orange Street, followed by the driver appearing to light a large firework.
Footage shows a person from the crowd tossing the firework back into the vehicle as people nearby run.
Moments later, the firework explodes inside the car.
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Riverside police say a "group of onlookers and the suspect driver" then assaulted the person who threw the firework into the vehicle.
Based on the video, detectives obtained the car's license plate and photos of the driver, police say. The suspect was identified as Gabriel Castillo, a 20-year-old Perris resident currently on probation for evading police.
Castillo was arrested Tuesday in Perris after a probation search was made at a home. He was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on illegal fireworks and probation violations.
He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
The department says it is still looking for several other people that vandalized and looted businesses that day, and released a video of the instances.
Police said in a statement that once peaceful demonstrations finished, rioters caused numerous acts of vandalism and fireworks were thrown at law enforcement.
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