Two out-of-state suspects are facing local charges after a night of violent rioting where Black Lives Matter-Antifa activists toppled the statues of former presidents and vandalized numerous buildings.
The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office charged 38-year-old Brandon Bartells, who is accused of being the driver who used a van to pull down the Theodore Roosevelt statue during the antifa-organized "Indigenous Day of Rage" on Sunday.
Bartells, of Washington state, is charged with first-degree felony criminal mischief and felony riot for allegedly vandalizing the Rough Rider equestrian statue. He was released without bail.
The District Attorney says law enforcement observed Bartells driving the van connected to chains and straps that were wrapped around the presidential sculpture. When Bartells drove forward, the memorial was pulled from its pedestal.
Bartells is also a suspect in the toppling of Abraham Lincoln’s statue, the second statue toppled that night, but the investigation remains ongoing.
Bartells told authorities he has been staying with friends for the last week and gave court officials a Northwest Portland address, The Oregonian reported
According to the Tri-City Herald, he was previously arrested and booked into the Kenosha County jail in late August for not complying with an “emergency management order” amid the Jacob Blake BLM riots.
Additionally, 23-year-old Malik Fard Muhamad, of Indiana, has been charged by the District Attorney. He is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in public, first-degree felony criminal mischief and felony riot.
According to court documents, Muhamad used a metal baton to smash out the windows of the police office at Portland State University and numerous other businesses. He’s also accused of destroying the windows of the Oregon Historical Society. The museum was then set on fire and an artifact was looted from an exhibit.
Muhamad allegedly dressed in black bloc and was armed with a pistol and riot shield.
When Portland police attempted to arrest Muhamad, he allegedly fled on foot. Police found him hiding behind barrels. He was carrying a loaded magazine and a matching loaded pistol was found nearby.
Muhamad was bailed out quickly. His arraignment is set for Dec. 15. PPB detectives have since learned that Muhamad has been residing in the state of Washington and has attended multiple violent protests over the past few months.
As of Monday, the OHS museum cites more than $20,000 in property damage. The Heroes American cafe was another one of the businesses vandalized during the riot. Rioters fired two pistol rounds inside the restaurant and smashed another window using a bat. A few days prior, the cafe had been placed on a Twitter antifa list of “pro-police” businesses.
Portland has been rattled by more than 125 nights of violent protests and riots since the death of George Floyd in May.
Damage to the Roosevelt and Lincoln statues will cost an estimated $20,000 and $10,000, respectively, to repair.
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