(Reuters) - A Baltimore man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to puncturing a fire hose at a burning pharmacy during rioting last year, federal authorities said.

Gregory Butler Jr., 22, admitted to obstructing firefighters battling a blaze at a CVS Health Corp pharmacy in April 2015, the office of the U.S. Attorney in Baltimore said in a statement.

The drugstore was set afire during unrest after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a black man who died from an injury suffered in police custody. His death heightened a U.S. debate on police treatment of minorities.

Butler said he had twice punctured the hose with a knife, the statement said. The incident was caught on video and the burning pharmacy became a symbol of unrest in the largely African-American city.


Butler faces up to five years in prison.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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