If you’re going to break into your city’s police headquarters and commit arson while sporting a tattoo of your last name in giant letters on your back, a word of advice: Wear a shirt.
Suspected arsonist Edward Schinzing, 32, did not follow that advice when he allegedly attempted to set fire to the Portland Justice Center, which is near the center of the ongoing protests and riots in downtown Portland, Oregon.
And now he’s facing federal arson charges.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that authorities had charged Schinzing with “using fire to maliciously damage or destroy the Justice Center in downtown Portland.”
The charges stem from a late May incident at the Justice Center, which houses the Portland Police headquarters and the Multnomah County Detention Center.
According to the DOJ statement, Schinzing was among a group of protesters who broke into the Justice Center just before 11 p.m. on May 29. Protesters smashed several of the building’s windows and entered secured offices.
At least three civilian county employees who were working in the Corrections Records Office at the time ran for safety when the windows were broken and suspects raided the building, the DOJ noted.
The department said about 30 rioters entered the Justice Center through the broken windows, spray-painted parts of the office, destroyed office equipment and computers, and started fires.
Schinzing, the Justice Department said, was ID’d by comparing his images on surveillance video with a previous jail booking photo and a “distinctive tattoo of his last name across his upper back.”
The suspect allegedly spread a fire by lighting papers in the front of the office and moving them to a drawer in a second cubicle.
Thankfully for the workers — plus the 289 inmates housed in the detention center — the building’s fire sprinkler system was able to extinguish the fires, according to the statement.
U.S. Department of Justice/U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon
According to the Oregonian, Schinzing is facing federal charges for his alleged crimes at a county building because the property belonging to the city of Portland and Multnomah County receives millions of dollars in federal assistance through the DOJ.
Schinzing, who was on probation for domestic violence assault, the newspaper said, is currently being held in the jail at the Justice Center that he is accused of trying to torch.
He also has seven prior misdemeanor and two felony convictions, the Oregonian reported.
Here’s video of the “peaceful” Portland protesters busting the windows of the Justice Center on May 29.
Content warning: Rough language
Portland protesters break windows at the Justice Center downtown