September 8, 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that 36-year-old Adam Layee is being charged with felony riot, among other charges, after allegedly being found in possession of a destructive device during an unlawful assembly and riot.
Layee is charged with one count of riot (felony), one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device (felony), one count of reckless burning and one count of recklessly endangering.
This investigation started on September 6, 2020 during the 102nd consecutive night of demonstrations in Portland.
During the event, a Portland police officer saw a man in a green backpack and distinctive helmet lighting a mattress on fire in the middle of the street. The officer saw other people pour flammable liquids onto the mattress, making the flames dangerously high, according to court documents.
The mattress fire occurred in the street near dry brush, houses, and stores. There was also a burn-ban in effect, due to the extremely dangerous fire conditions.
Later in the evening, police saw the same man who lit the mattresses on fire and contacted him for arrest. That person, later identified as Layee, was wearing the same clothes as previously observed by police and had a lighter, a bottle full of liquid accelerant with a built-in wick, and fireproof gloves, according to court documents.
Layee remains in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center. If released by the court, the state has requested the following pretrial conditions be imposed:
- Defendant shall immediately disperse from any gathering within Multnomah County once a law enforcement agency has declared that gathering unlawful or riotous pursuant to ORS 131.675;
- While in any public gathering, whether lawful or unlawful, defendant shall not possess rocks, paint-filled balloons, fireworks, laser pointers, bear spray canisters, expandable batons, or incendiary devices;
- Defendant shall report to Pretrial Release Services for supervision;
- Defendant must obey all laws while on release;
- Defendant shall appear in court in person or by phone, as required by the court, for all future court dates.
No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Layee is innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will presumptively decline to prosecute cases where the most serious offenses are city ordinance violations and crimes that do not involve property damage, theft, or the use or threat of force against another person. When an individual case presents unusual, aggravating circumstances, however, our office may prosecute the case. All other offenses, including those that allege acts of physical violence will be handled according to general office policies.
Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office