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. [emphasis added]
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