By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police say they will pursue criminal charges if they are able to find others who took part in vandalism and rioting Saturday night. Police arrested 13 people during the riots outside their headquarters at 13th and Cherokee.

(credit: CBS)

“This was a riot. This was no protest,” said Carl Huey who lives in an apartment across from the police building.

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Saturday night, those described as anarchists descended in small numbers, but intent on destruction. Their purpose was to push for defunding of the police department. The group posted on social media, “give them hell.”

“Seeing the windows smashed. We had a flag display in our window and they busted it, tore the American flag out,” Huey told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.

(credit: CBS)

A fire was set at the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse – just one of several. Police used pepper spray to try to disperse the attackers, but it wasn’t just the police who took brunt of this action.

The Quiznos sandwich shop across the street was badly damaged. Windows and doors were busted out. The owner, an immigrant from South Korea, asked we not use his name.

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“I’m very disappointed. I’m upset. This is my family’s stuff. This is all we have. We just want to get along. We just want to be good neighbors with everybody,” he said.

Those arrested during the melee were released on bond. The sandwich shop owners took pictures of the mess left behind wondering how they will pay for what has been done.

(credit: CBS)

“We’ve been running the store for 12 years now. The virus and with this stuff, it’s the worst time ever,” the man who runs the shop said.

City and state leaders had a name for the destruction – “Criminal Terrorism.”

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The rioters launched fireworks into the line of police officers stationed inside the barrier protecting the headquarters. A spokesman said they did not have any orders to show restraint.

Rick Sallinger