A traffic stop of a speeding vehicle led to the arrest of three men, who claimed to be Occupy Portland demonstrators, and the seizure of incendiary devices, gas masks and fireworks.
Traffic Safety Deputy Ryan Postlewait saw a gray Subaru Outback going southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 245 at 8:40am. It was traveling at a high rate of speed. Using his radar, he verified the speed of the Subaru at 81mph. Postlewait initiated a traffic stop.
The driver of the car was identified as William Maxwell Patterson, 21. The passengers in the car were identified as Emery Nicholas Luff, 21 and Zachary Salzwedel-Kemp, 20. All three were from Klamath Falls.
During his initial contact with Patterson, Deputy Postlewait detected the odor of marijuana coming from the interior of the car. A search of the car yielded a baggie of marijuana and paraphernalia for smoking marijuana.
In addition to the marijuana, Postlewait found a quantity of firecrackers and two commercially manufactured mortars like those fired into the air during professional pyrotechnic displays. The mortars were contained in glass "Ball" canning jars. One was found on the floorboard at Luff's feet; the other was in a jacket belonging to Luff. Also found in the car were two gas masks, some protective eye goggles, and safety helmet.
All three suspects said that they had spent the night at the Occupy Portland demonstration. They admitted that they brought the seized items to the demonstration in preparation for a confrontation with police when they expected to be forcibly removed from the park. They admitted being at the protest during the police confrontation and had left about an hour before Postelwait stopped them.
During the earlier Occupy Portland confrontation between police and protesters, a Portland Police Officer was injured when protesters began throwing fireworks at them. These subjects denied being involved in throwing the fireworks at the Officer.
The subjects were questioned further about the explosives. Each of them said that they knew the "Ball" canning jar would explode and cause glass shrapnel to fly out and possibly cause injury to anyone close to it.
Salzwedel-Kemp and Patterson described an incident that occurred when they were younger. They put a homemade "Piccolo Pete" explosive inside a beer bottle and detonated it. The resulting explosion caused a shard of glass to fly into Salswedel; lacerating his leg so badly that he required stitches to close the wound.
All three were arrested and booked at the Marion County Jail:
Patterson is charged with Unlawful Possession of Fireworks and Possession of a controlled substance (less than 1 oz of marijuana). Patterson was cited & released from the jail with a December 12th court date. (photo attached)
Luff was charged with Unlawful Possession of Destructive Device, Unlawful Manufacture of Destructive Device and Unlawful Possession of Fireworks. Luff remains in jail with a court date of November 14th at 3:00pm. (photo attached)
Salzwedel-Kemp was charged with Unlawful Possession of Fireworks and Possession of a controlled substance (less than 1 oz of marijuana). Salzwedel-Kemp was cited & released from the jail with a December 12th court date. (photo attached)
The Portland Police Bureau was advised of the discovery and arrest. Officers working the demonstration were warned that other demonstrators might have devices similar to those seized from Luff, Patterson and Salzwedel-Kemp.