PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a man in the toppling of a Theodore Roosevelt statue in Portland, Oregon by protesters last year.
Brandon Bartells was charged with riot and first-degree criminal mischief, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The statue was pulled down along with Abraham Lincoln’s statue by about 200 protesters in an Oct. 11 event promoted as an “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage.” The crowd threw chains or ropes on the bronze Roosevelt statue as others took a blowtorch to its base and splattered it with red paint.
During the event, Bartells was arrested on accusations of damaging the Roosevelt statue and later released on his own recognizance. He was found driving a white van suspected of pulling down the statue, police and prosecutors said.
The grand jury found over $10,000 in damages to Portland city property. The state will seek a greater sentence because of that and Bartell’s failure to appear to a previous hearing, according to court documents.
Bartells said previously he also was “detained” with other protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August. Bartells was one of more than 60 people cited and accused of violating a curfew in effect after protests erupted over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man.
It wasn’t immediately known if Bartells has a lawyer to comment.