Downtown Portland businesses assess New Year’s Eve riot damage

Portland

Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke about cracking down on those responsible for the violence and vandalism

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Businesses hit hard by a downtown riot on New Year’s Eve are still working to assess losses this weekend.

The mayor addressed the destruction Friday, calling for help from the state legislature to stiffen penalties for those who repeatedly vandalize and destroy property.

Severe damage was done to two Starbucks coffee shops–including one at Pioneer Courthouse Square and SW 6th avenue, along with the Portland Wine Bar, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Pandora Jewelers, Chase Bank and the Pacific Building, among other businesses.

Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke Friday about cracking down on those responsible for the violence and vandalism.

“We need more accountability and we need to hold people responsible for their criminal conduct. We are in contact with District Attorney Mike Schmidt and we are working on these cases together,” Wheeler said.

It wasn’t only businesses that were attacked, but Central Precinct and the Justice Center, too, as some people tried to break in.

Gabriel Johnson, the Director of Coalition to Save PDX, told KOIN 6 News the violence that unfolded entering New Year’s Day was probably the highest level of violence on the streets he’d seen in months. He said some officers were hit with paint containing chemicals that burned their skin.

Fireworks were also fired at the officers and they fired back with less-lethal munitions, mace and pepper spray.

Police said at least three people were arrested or cited in relation to Thursday’s riot:

  • Daniel Wuanti, 20, of Portland cited for interfering with a peace officer and disorderly conduct,
  • Joshua Steele, 23, faces a burglary charge. His residence is not known.
  • And a 15-year-old from Vernonia is being held in Juvenile Detention on charges of riot, burglary, interfering with a peace officer and a warrant for sexual assault.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon is also offering cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information that leads to a felony arrest associated with the riots. Those providing tips can remain anonymous.

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