PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A riot was declared and the National Guard was activated due to “widespread violence” following marches by demonstrators into downtown Portland Wednesday night.
Law enforcement said the riot included the seizure of weapons, including a rifle, as well as hammers and fireworks, and the arrest of a suspect accused of throwing a firework at police. The thrown firework was initially reported as a Molotov Cocktail.
By 10 p.m., law enforcement said the riot declaration had been rescinded and officers had "disengaged in an effort to de-escalate the situation." All remaining demonstrators were asked to remain peaceful by deputies.
By 10:30 p.m., however, a remaining group downtown was declared an unlawful assembly again by law enforcement.
The post-election rallies started with two different groups, one at the North Park Blocks and another at Revolution Hall in southeast Portland, before both marching into downtown Portland. The group that gathered on the east side blocked traffic as they crossed the Morrison Bridge.
By 7 p.m. rioters were seen vandalizing buildings, including breaking the windows of a St. Andrea Bassett Church which helps those who are homeless, experiencing poverty, mental health issues and substance abuse. They also broke ATMs. An American flag was also set on fire in the middle of a downtown street.
Riot declared downtown, National Guard activated. https://t.co/y2FemFcXEh— Fox12Oregon (@fox12oregon) November 5, 2020
Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday had extended her executive order creating a unified command between local law enforcement agencies, led by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office first declared an unlawful assembly downtown around 6:50 p.m. due to people damaging property. A few minutes later, the situation was declared a riot.
The National Guard was activated within minutes of the riot declaration as part of the unified command “in the interest of public safety.”
“Oregon National Guard members are civilian community members helping to protect us. We don’t take this decision lightly,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Looks like every business window on this Harvey Milk and 10th corner is smashed pic.twitter.com/HlAJd4ME4K— Audrey Weil (@audreytweil) November 5, 2020
The Unified Command said there was confirmed reports of vandalism which included broken windows and graffiti. Authorities have seized hammers, spray paint and commercial-grade fireworks. The Unified Command also denied rumors of the use of an unmarked van being used to grab and arrest people. They said those arrested are being taken in marked police vehicles. Although some agencies were using unmarked vehicles to transport law enforcement.
These are some of the items law enforcement has seized tonight from custodies. Commercial grade fireworks, hammers, spray paint. pic.twitter.com/L4paG54Tqo— Multnomah Co Sheriff (@MultCoSO) November 5, 2020
A man, later identified as 23-year-old William K. Beecher, was arrested after the Unified Command said he threw a firework at Portland police officers. While arresting Beecher, officers seized a loaded rifle, multiple additional magazines, more fireworks, a knife and spray paint cans. The suspect was also wearing a tactical vest with ballistic plates.
Loaded rifle seized in arrest. Deputies arrested a man believed to have thrown a Molotov cocktail at PPB officers. Deps. seized a rifle w/ a full magazine. They also recovered add'l magazines, commercial grade fireworks, a knife & spray paint cans. Arrest info to come later. pic.twitter.com/8kERARSSQw— Multnomah Co Sheriff (@MultCoSO) November 5, 2020
Shortly after 9 p.m. the riot declaration was rescinded, according to a statement from law enforcement, as "the violence and criminal activity has stopped."
By 10:30 p.m., deputies said remaining rioters were "subject to use of force to include crowd control munitions and CS gas."
At about 11:15 p.m., OSP troopers stopped a vehicle without license plates that was interfering with traffic, the Unified Command said. The troopers discovered the driver, identified as Wesley C. Fant, had a handgun and arrested him on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
The remaining group downtown mostly dispersed by 1:30 a.m., according to the Unified Command.
Twelve people were arrested in downtown Portland, according to the Unified Command, and the following items were recovered from arrested suspects: multiple firearms, ammunition, a knife, commercial and consumer grade fireworks, body armor and gas masks.
The following people were booked into the Multnomah County Jail:
- Wyatt Dylan Scully, 19, from Portland, charged with second-degree trespass.
- Tanner Nokoa Alcorn, 29, from Portland, charged with second-degree trespass.
- Jason Mercury Tyler, 22, from Beaverton, charged with second-degree trespass.
- Jarrod Deferrari, 23, from Sunrise, Florida, charged with riot, first-degree disorderly conduct, first-degree criminal mischief, sale/possession of fireworks, second-degree burglary, and second-degree attempt arson.
- Leslie Johnson, 25, charged with second-degree trespass.
- Ian Wyatt Harrington, 25, from Portland, charged with interfering with a peace officer and second-degree disorderly conduct.
- James Christopher Saraceno, 49, from Portland, charged with interfering with a peace officer, second-degree disorderly conduct, reckless burning, and riot
- Michael Tyler Ream, 38, from Portland, charged with resisting arrest, interfering with a peace officer, and second-degree disorderly conduct.
- Ashley Schofield, 36, from Portland, charged with interfering with a peace officer, resisting arrest, and harassment.
- William Kahl Beecher, 23, from Oregon City, charged with possession of loaded firearm, riot, and second-degree disorderly conduct.
- Sherlock Ortiz, 23, from Portland, charged with first-degree criminal mischief.
- Wesley C. Fant, 29, from Portland, charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
The Unified Command said no injuries were reported in the events Wednesday night and no tear gas was used.
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