A man who was involved in May Day protests in downtown Portland, Oregon, has pleaded guilty to throwing flaming flares into a police car and through the window of a Target store.
On May 1, peaceful protestors were speaking on a variety of social issues in downtown Portland, according to The Oregonian. About 20 anarchists interrupted the peaceful protest by vandalizing property, setting fires, throwing rocks, and participating in other forms of violence.
Video footage aired live by a local TV station reportedly shows Damion Zachary Feller throwing a lit flare into a Target retail store, prompting employees to rush to put out a burning section of carpet. Other footage, including some taken on cell phones, shows Feller throwing flares into a police SUV parked across the street from the target.
The videos also reportedly show other individuals dressed all in black or wearing masks, kicking or hitting the windows of the police car before Feller threw the flares in.
According to Fox News, police were later successful in shutting down the rally. It was eventually declared a riot because of the marchers' destruction of property and the use of smoke bombs.
Approximately 25 people were arrested the day of the riot.
Feller himself was arrested two days following the riot after officers who recognized him from the video saw him once again in downtown Portland, reports The Oregonian.
A probable cause affidavit states that when detectives showed him a photograph of the person who threw the flares, he replied, "I saw that online, and I knew I was [expletive]."
In addition, the affidavit states that Feller said he got caught up in the "mob mentality."
After his arrest, Feller also told detectives that he is out of touch with his family, who lives in Colorado, and that he has been homeless for the past year. He said he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and that he also smoked marijuana daily.
Feller was represented by his public defender, DeAnna Horne, when he appeared in court on Sept. 25. He pleaded guilty to first-degree arson, second-degree arson, riot, and first-degree criminal mischief. He is scheduled to be sentenced to five years in prison during a hearing in October.
Feller has no criminal convictions but has been arrested five times in Oregon, Colorado and Texas. He is also facing pending charges of theft and criminal trespass in Umatilla County in Oregon.
Feller was not the only person to be convicted of crimes in connection with the riot in Portland. On Sept. 28, 36-year-old Sarah Pugh was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to second-degree arson and riot.