A man who was arrested in Oregon after allegedly using a Molotov cocktail to start a wildfire was later released from jail but rearrested less than 24 hours later for allegedly starting six more small fires.
Domingo Lopez Jr., 45, was arrested after using a Molotov cocktail “to start a small brush fire,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement Monday.
“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,” the statement reads. “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 continues. “Officers arrested the suspect, who confirmed he lit the fire with the device.”
Authorities booked Lopez Jr. into the Multnomah County Detention Center “on charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree,” the statement adds. “Arson investigators are also doing follow-up to see if other charges are warranted.”
Investigators recovered alleged evidence (pictured below) during their initial investigation.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 14, 2020
As reported by the New York Post, Lopez Jr. was booked into jail Sunday evening on charges of “reckless burning and second-degree disorderly conduct” and released later that night.
“The alleged arson comes as Oregon is one of the worst hit by wildfires devastating the West Coast, with at least 10 dead in the Beaver State,” the Post notes.
The Portland Police Bureau later reported that the same suspect was arrested just hours later for allegedly starting more fires after being released from jail.
“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 separate 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.”
The suspect was cited six additional times on counts of Reckless Burning and was transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.
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