Rioters in Oregon’s largest city on Thanksgiving caused thousands of dollars in damage, authorities said.
A group of people dressed in black clothing were witnessed smashing windows along Hawthorne Street in the early hours of Nov. 26, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Officers canvassed the area and found that damage had been inflicted upon at least 10 businesses in the area.
“Some of the damage was sufficient to provide access to the interior of retail stores so officers contacted responsible parties and stood by while contractors or employees boarded up windows. Grocery stores, banks, an auto service center, a package distribution and mailing center, and local business storefronts were damaged,” the bureau said in an incident summary.
A New Seasons Market, a Chase Bank, and Portland Cider House were among the businesses that were damaged, photographs and video footage showed. Multiple Antifa logos were sprayed with paint onto the buildings.
Three people were arrested: Chester Hester, 24; Nicole Noriega, 38; and Bailey Willack, 23. They were each charged with 10 counts of first-degree criminal mischief.
According to Andy Ngo, a reporter who is an expert on the far-left Antifa network, Willack is a member of the network.
Police said another adult was found with a semi-automatic pistol. That person, who was not named, was referred to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Chester Hester (L), Nicole Noriega (C), and Bailey Willack were arrested for allegedly damaging businesses during a riot in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 26, 2020. (Portland Police Bureau)
“Based on witness statements, it is likely that more people were involved in these crimes and police will try to determine their identity through further investigation,” police said.
A spokesman for Portland Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Riots and protests took place nearly every night in Portland for months this year. The situation has calmed down in recent weeks, but sporadic explosions of violence still occur.
The vandalism came after the PNW Youth Liberation Front, a group linked to Antifa, called for “direct action” in Twitter posts that said, “[Expletive] Thanksgiving.”
Direct action is a term that refers to targeting buildings that anarchists feel represent things they oppose. The Front called on taking direct action “to attack symbols and structures of colonialism and capitalism.”
The group later shared a report from an Antifa website that praised the toppling of a memorial for the Mexican-American War at a cemetery in Portland on Nov. 25.
Vandals sprayed graffiti that said, “[Expletive]” USA,” and “Eat [expletive] colonizers.”