Three people have been arrested following the violence that emerged at the Oregon State Capitol Building.
According to the press release by the Salem Police Department, three people have been arrested following the violence at the Oregon State Capitol building between right-wing protesters and left-wing counter-protesters.
Armed Antifa insurrectionists attempted to overthrow the Oregon state capitol pic.twitter.com/FxcGU2Qr8p
— J*ck Posob*ec (@JackPosobiec) March 29, 2021
The arrested individuals include 34-year-old Andrew Alan Foy, 33-year-old Nathan McFarland, and 18-year-old Anthony Villanueva.
Foy is charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass in the second degree. Meanwhile, McFarland is charged with disorderly conduct in the second degree, and Villanueva was charged with five counts of unlawful pointing of a laser.
Police stated that the first event was announced by the right-wing in February. It was labeled as “Freedom Rally” and appeared on social media platforms.
However, as a counter-protest, a second was also assembled by left-wing activists and appeared soon after the first one was announced. The same was named “Fascist Free 503,” indicating a counter-response to the Freedom Rally. Social media posts that were related to the group showed their intention to block the Freedom Rally caravan from meeting at the state capitol.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 28, 2021
Then right before noon, there were around 100 individuals wearing black clothing, and ballistic vests arrived. They were carrying firearms, bats, skateboards, umbrellas, shields, and gas masks as they arrived on the Capitol Mall grounds. Some of the group individuals also carry Youth Liberation Front flags, a group known to support left-wing ideologies. The group met along Court Street in front of the Capitol building.
At 2:15 in the afternoon, police started to warn that the protest had already increased in size and is already posing risks to public safety.
The police said in a Twitter thread, “There are approximately 150-200 participants that are heavily armed at the capitol at this time,” noting that counter-protesters were expected to arrive in large numbers.
Soon after the arrival of left-wing protesters, the Salem Police Department started to receive reports that individuals from the Court Street group were already targeting vehicles that are driving nearby.
According to the accounts of victims, the left-wing thugs damaged their vehicles with paint-filled balloons and rocks. Other hard objects were also being thrown at them as they passed by.
#Antifa impaled the red truck with a large tree branch during their mob attack on the vehicle outside the Oregon state capitol. There was a female passenger in the vehicle at the time who was nearly killed. #AntifaRiots pic.twitter.com/WZARAZoT5A
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 29, 2021
One vehicle sustained a significant amount of damage when a large tree limb was thrown through the front window into the vehicle’s passenger seat.
According to reports by Salem PD, patrol officers responded and took several reports to start criminal investigations. In response to the criminal activity, Police officers also closed Court Street, allowing Oregon State Police and Salem Police crowd management teams to respond to the area and report the protest to an unlawful assembly.
In addition to this, the closure of Court Street also prevented the Freedom Rally Caravan from entering the area.
Thereafter, authorities gave announcements, giving warning to the crowd on Court Street to disperse, before moving to individuals in the Capitol Mall. No force was used as the protesters complied with commands.
However, the dispersed crowd that started marching along different streets surrounding the capitol grounds resulted in several altercations and property damage. Including among them is a reported incident of a firearm display and use of paintball guns.
Salem police stated that the officers of Salem police used less-than-lethal rounds during the arrest of two suspects.
Authorities also noted that these are open criminal cases that will continuously be investigated.