Training center protester granted bond in police motorcycle fire

Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith talks at a press conference at the Atlanta Police Headquarters about the arrest of John Roberts Mazurek Thursday. February 8, 2024.   (Steve Schaefer/steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer /

Credit: Steve Schaefer /

Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith talks at a press conference at the Atlanta Police Headquarters about the arrest of John Roberts Mazurek Thursday. February 8, 2024. (Steve Schaefer/steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

A man accused of setting fire to Atlanta police motorcycles to protest the planned Atlanta Public Safety Training Center has been granted bond.

John Robert Mazurek, 31, was granted a $75,000 bond Friday on one charge of arson in the first degree. Mazurek was arrested in February and was released on bond Sunday. His bond was originally denied on Feb. 9 as prosecutors alleged he is a “danger to community and property” and had a “significant risk to reoffend.”

As part of the bond agreement, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Emily Richardson put Mazurek on 24-hour house arrest except for medical emergencies and court appearances and ordered him to wear an ankle monitor.

The judge also stipulated as conditions of bond that he may not possess firearms or explosives and he must submit to random drug and alcohol screens, consume no alcohol or illegal drugs, stay off social media, surrender his passport and avoid contact with any members of the “Defend the Atlanta Forest” Group, except permitted contact with his fiancée, as long as she “does not engage in any ‘Defend the Atlanta Forest’ activities.”

The Georgia Attorney General’s Office claims the Atlanta-based forest group is an “anti-government, anti-police and anti-corporate extremist organization” that aims to halt training center construction by occupying parts or all of the 381-acre site.

Mazurek is scheduled for trial starting Aug. 19. The state must provide discovery by May 13 and all motions must be filed by June 10, to be heard by July 10, the judge ordered.

Mazurek is charged in connection with a July 1, 2023 fire that destroyed eight Atlanta Police Department motorcycles at the city’s old training academy on Southside Industrial Parkway. The Fulton County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting.

Multiple Atlanta police motorcycles were destroyed in the fire. July 1, 2023 (Contributed)

Credit: Contributed

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Credit: Contributed

He was arrested Feb. 8 after warrants were executed at “three locations connected to acts of vandalism and arson that have occurred over the last three months,” Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a press conference announcing the arrest.

Schierbaum said other arrests were expected.

Days after Mazurek was arrested, an Atlanta police vehicle was found burning in southeast Atlanta. An anonymous faction of opponents of the training center claimed responsibility for burning the police vehicle saying the arson was in response to recent law enforcement action, including Mazurek’s arrest.

The arsons being investigated date back to May 2022, when someone broke a window at the back of the At-Promise Center and tossed in four Molotov cocktails and an incendiary device. Most of the arsons have targeted contractors or agencies connected to the construction of the facility.