SALEM, OR (KPTV) – A protest outside of the Oregon State Capitol during a special legislative session Monday ended with four arrests and one person being sought, according to Oregon State Police.
OSP said the group gathered at 8:30 a.m. and attempted to enter the building, which was closed to the public due to the pandemic. The group was heard chanting "open up" – signaling their support for loosening Oregon's COVID-19 restrictions.
Many in the crowd were seen holding Trump signs, while others were openly carrying weapons.
Several protesters gained access to the building as a person left the building. Troopers asked them to go, and "the altercation became physical."
One of the protesters sprayed some kind of chemical irritant or bear spray into the vestibule, but Troopers and Salem police were able to contain the crowd.
OSP said that despite several warnings to leave or face arrest for trespassing, protesters stayed. At 10:30 a.m., a protester sprayed a chemical irritant again at police leading to Ryan Lyles, 41, arrest. Lyles was charged with being a felon in possession of body armor and unlawful use of mace.
Protesters also deployed a device that emitted smoke during the engagement, according to OSP.
Two people identified as Ronald Vanvlack, 75, and Jerry Dyerson, 53, refused to leave the building and were taken into custody, OSP said. They were charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
At about 1:30 p.m., a man, identified as Jeremiah Pruitt, 35, attempted to gain entry on the west side of the Capitol building by breaking a window of one of the doors, according to OSP. Pruitt was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
OSP is searching for Jeremy Roberts, 40, who is believed to have attempted to enter the building that afternoon and may have attacked two reporters.
Despite the group's efforts, the Oregon legislature concluded the special session and passed four COVID relief bills.