Portland police have arrested a man who walked through downtown Portland Sunday evening, pointing a realistic looking air soft rifle at members of the public.
According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), officers arrested 23-year-old Mark Lee at his home Thursday—four days after they first encountered Lee. Lee was charged with three counts of menacing and one count of second-degree disorderly conduct.
Lee appeared downtown Sunday following a religious event at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which relied on a security team composed of individuals associated with far-right groups, including the Proud Boys. The event attracted a number of anti-fascist (or, antifa) protesters who opposed the presence of far-right extremists in Portland. After the event ended, both groups of right-wight and left-wing activists took to the streets to spar, throwing punches and spraying mace at each other. It was during this escalating street brawl that bystanders noticed Lee strolling down a street, carrying what appeared to be a black assault rifle and pointing it at activists, journalists, and other passers-by. Activists took videos and photos of Lee as he rambled through downtown streets, with some yelling warnings at members of the public about Lee's firearm.
After 20 minutes of walking through downtown, Lee walked into PPB's Central Precinct. He left without facing any charges.
PPB said that they first heard from Lee Sunday evening through a 9-1-1 call.
"Lee called 911 claiming several people were following him," reads a PPB press release, sent Thursday evening. "He was instructed to walk to Central Precinct where officers received him, issuing him commands (with which he complied), and confirmed the rifle was not a firearm as defined by state law."
According to PPB, officers didn't review videos and photos of Lee's Sunday night stroll posted to social media until Monday. Officers also spoke with several witnesses. Officers allegedly established probable cause to arrest Lee based on those interviews and images. Lee was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center around 2:30 pm Thursday.
Lee has a brief criminal history. In January 2020, Lee was charged with mail theft in Multnomah County. The charges were eventually dropped. Court documents indicate that Lee was previously living in a juvenile justice facility in Gresham.
PPB defended the delay in Lee's arrest in its press release.
"While some arrests are made shortly after police are called to investigate an alleged crime, it is not unusual for officers to wait to make an arrest when additional investigation is required before appropriate charges can be brought," the release reads.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as Portland's police commissioner, has yet to respond to the Mercury's Monday request for comment on the incident.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the arrestee as Ken Lee, not Mark Lee.