Molotov cocktail suspect arrested on warrant in Gresham

2020 Protests

The suspect was originally arrested at a demonstration in September in downtown Portland

Gresham Police arrested Joseph Robert Sipe Oct. 27, 2020 on a warrant (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police have arrested a man accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail during a downtown Portland protest in September.

Joseph Robert Sipe had a warrant out for his arrest after failing to appear in court earlier this month.

The 23-year-old allegedly admitted to lighting a Molotov cocktail and throwing it behind a line of police officers on September 23 in downtown Portland, according to court documents.

Officers originally arrested Sipe on charges that included attempted murder, attempted first-degree assault, and arson. However, the more serious charges were dropped and he now only faces one count of riot and one count of possession of a destructive device.

Court papers identify Sipe as a homeless former Marine who has schizophrenia and an arrest warrant in Georgia for aggravated assault. He posted bail on September 29, then failed to appear for an October 2 court date, according to authorities, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

Gresham Police officers arrested Sipe Tuesday morning near NE 192nd and Halsey, according to a spokesperson for the department. They had been called to the area after a report of a man and woman fighting while walking down the street and identified Sipe as the male suspect, the spokesperson said, though Sipe is not facing any new charges from the reported fight.

Sipe was released from the Multnomah County Jail Wednesday. KOIN 6 News reached out to his public defender for comment, but has not yet heard back.

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