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Portland Rioters Start Fires Outside Mayor’s Home, Set Fire To Occupied Building

Portland, OR – Rioters celebrated Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s birthday on Monday night by starting a fire outside his condominium and demanding his resignation.

The mob also started an occupied apartment building on fire during the overnight mayhem on Aug. 31, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release.

The chaos kicked off at approximately 10 p.m., when hundreds of rioters marched to the Pearl District condominium tower where Wheeler resides, according to The Oregonian.

Many members of the group wore party hats and carried balloons and signs demanding the mayor’s resignation, KATU reported.

Some sang “Happy tear gas, war crimes Wheeler/Happy tear gas to you,” to the tune of “Happy Birthday,” according to the news outlet.

Upon their arrival at Wheeler’s building, the mob launched off commercial-grade fireworks, broke into a random business, smashed various windows, graffitied buildings, and ignited a fire inside an occupied apartment building, according to police.

Rioters pushed a dumpster to the middle of the street and set it ablaze, then started a second fire in the roadway, KATU reported.

They fueled the fires with various pieces of furniture they had stolen from a building they had broken into, according to PPB.

“In an attempt to deescalate, officers stayed out of sight and monitored the situation from a distance. However, the vandalism and burning continued,” the PPB said. “At 11:05p.m., due to the ongoing criminal behavior, the incident was declared an unlawful assembly.”

Just two minutes after police ordered the mob to leave the area, police saw a member of the crowd “throw burning material through a broken window into a ground-level busines [inside] a large, occupied apartment building,” according to the press release.

Police then declared the situation to be a riot.

The crowd immediately began attacking officers with paint balloons, rocks, and various other projectiles as they began pushing the mob away from the area.

Some members of the group stacked debris in the roadway in an attempt to create barricades, while others lit yet another dumpster on fire, police said.

PPB spent the next two hours keeping the rioters away from the building and making “selective arrests,” according to the press release.

They made 19 arrests before the chaos finally died down around 2 a.m.

Many of the suspects that were taken into custody were in possession of various weapons, including knives and at least one expandable baton, police said.

PPB arson investigators are still searching for the suspect who started the fire inside the 16-story apartment building, which is comprised of 114 residences, The Oregonian reported.

The blaze was quickly extinguished and no injuries due to the fire were reported.

It wasn’t the first time rioters converged on the condominium tower where Wheeler resides.

A group of protesters gathered at the mayor’s building on Aug. 28, just hours after the mayor boasted on social media about turning down President Donald Trump’s latest offer to send federal law enforcement to Portland to help quell the violent uprisings.

Members of the group locked arms in the lobby area and refused to leave, video footage showed.

Another video showed a group of people demanding to be let inside the building.

“I got white people s–t to do in there!” one man yelled through the closed glass doors. “Ted Wheeler lives in your building…on the 11th floor. Go to 1131 and tell that person, until they leave, we’ll be here every week, okay?”

The group then proceeded to hold a loud rock concert out on the street, including an “antifa mosh pit,” according to reporter Andy Ngo.

Protesters also briefly attempted to set up an “autonomous zone” outside Wheeler’s condominium tower back in June, The Oregonian reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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