A Pennsylvania man who admitted to leaving a bag of homemade bombs in downtown Pittsburgh during the 2020 protests against the death of George Floyd won’t spend a day behind bars. Matthew Michanowicz, 53, was sentenced to time served and three years of probation by a judge on Monday. The first six months of his sentence will be served under home detention.
Michanowicz, who was called an “agitator” intent on violence by a former federal prosecutor, pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device following a grand jury indictment in June 2020. A prosecutor at his trial argued Michanowicz should receive between 30 and 37 months in prison on the basis that his devices could have killed or seriously injured people.
Michanowicz was captured on surveillance footage biking to a protest site and planting a backpack there on May 31, 2020. A day later, officers summoned to respond to the suspicious bag found three explosive devices. Authorities later said the devices were spent pepper spray grenades with wicks held in place by foam spray insulation, filled with gasoline and capable of causing death. Investigators who later searched Michanowicz’s home found 10 more backpacks similar to the one he had planted.