Portland’s unending tolerance for crime and mayhem led to predictable consequences this week after they arrested and then quickly released a man accused of using a Molotov cocktail to start one of Oregon’s many wildfires. Less than 24 hours after authorities let Domingo Lopez, Jr. out of jail, he was back in police custody for – you guessed it – starting six more small fires.
“On Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4:35p.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched to assist Portland Fire and Rescue with a brush fire in the 9600 block of East Burnside Street,” read a statement from the Portland Police Bureau. “Officers saw that a section of grass along the I-205 freeway was burning. Firefighters extinguished the fire. No one was injured and no structures were damaged.
“About an hour later, East officers were flagged down by a witness who pointed out the suspect in a nearby tent,” the statement continued. “Officers arrested the suspect, who confirmed he lit the fire with the device.”
According to the statement, police booked the suspect into the Multnomah County Detention Center and charged him with “Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.” The statement added that investigators were looking into the case to “see if other charges are warranted.”
But instead of keeping Lopez in jail while carrying out the investigation, they set him free later that same night. This, while Oregon and California have been besieged by some of the worst wildfires in West Coast history. Why not put someone back out on the streets who has already proven to have a taste for arson? What’s the worst that could happen?
Well, a few hours later…
“On Monday, September 14, 2020, at 3:37a.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched with Portland Fire and Rescue to a report of multiple fires burning along the west side of the I-205 freeway,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a new statement. “Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished three of them while passing community members put out the other three. All were caught early. No one was injured and no structures were burnt. Officers located Domingo Lopez, Junior walking along the shoulder and arrested him. They seized a lighter as evidence.”
Lopez was subsequently charged with another six counts of Reckless Burning and transported to a mental health facility for further examination.
We’re beginning to understand why Portland is seemingly powerless to stop those nightly riots…