Man with airsoft rifle arrested for menacing in Portland


Video footage allegedly shows 23-year-old Mark A. Lee carrying a realistic-looking airsoft rifle in downtown Portland

A far-right extremist points his rifle at Willamette Week journalist Justin Yau on August 8, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. After taking the man into custody, police later confirmed the rifle was a replica airsoft weapon. Anti-fascists and far-right extremists clashed near a religious gathering in downtown Portland for the second day in a row without a police response. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man is facing charges after allegedly pointing an AR-15 airsoft rifle at people in downtown Portland, then calling 911 to report that he was being followed.

A booking photo of Mark Allen Lee, Aug. 12, 2021. (MCSO)

Police said 23-year-old Mark A. Lee was seen carrying a realistic-looking airsoft rifle while wearing camouflage and a military-style tactical vest following an event at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Sunday afternoon.

A group of more than 100 people gathered near the Hawthorne Bridge in the park for a religious rally on Sunday. Our partners at the Portland Tribune reported the event was hosted by Christian leader Sean Feucht.

The rally took a turn as the evening progressed.

After the religious portion of the night ended, heavily armed, right-wing men were reportedly at the event — who then clashed with extreme left protesters on the outskirts of the rally.

The Tribune’s Zane Sparling reported mace was “thick in the air” downtown as fights continued between the far-right and far-left groups. Some used flashbangs and fireworks, while others threatened violence.

Lee called 911 to report several people were following him while multiple “disturbances” were taking place after the event, the Portland Police Bureau said. Authorities told Lee to walk to Central Precinct where he followed officers’ instructions and told them the rifle was not an actual firearm.

Lee was released pending further investigation, police said. There were limited officers available at the time due to several incidents in the area including a homicide investigation and an armed robbery situation, the PPB said. The event in Tom McCall Waterfront Park reportedly ended before more police resources could be made available.

On Monday, investigators reviewed video footage showing Lee pointing the airsoft rifle toward at least two people, police said. Officers with the Centra Precinct Neighborhood Response Team spoke to witnesses and identified a victim and probable cause was developed to arrest Lee.

An airsoft rifle, knives and a military-style tactical vest recovered during an arrest, Aug. 12, 2021. (PPB)

Officers arrested Lee at his home on Thursday where they also found the airsoft rifle, camouflage shirt and military-style tactical vest, according to the PPB.

Lee was booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center on three counts of menacing and 2nd-degree disorderly conduct.

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