Woman holds suspected arsonist at gunpoint in Oregon. Turns out he’s got quite the record.

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OREGON –A woman in Oregon recently found a man trespassing on her property whom she believed was trying to commit arson.  The woman jumped out of her car and ordered him to the ground until police arrived.

HERE IS THE VIDEOUpdate: I read all your msgs to me, even the private ones, I can tell you that this truly did happen…

Posted by Kat Cast on Saturday, September 12, 2020

People in Oregon and other western states are on edge, and for good reason.  There are large areas of land that are being ravaged by wildfires, and most of these have no known cause.  Others, a handful, are suspected cases of arson, which caused local resident Kat Cast to keep watch of her property.

Recently, Cast noticed a man who was walking on a road near a wooded area.  Cast alleges that she noticed the man had matches in his hands and she immediately suspected he was an arsonist.

In Cast’s Facebook video, she is seen exiting a vehicle with her gun displayed and confronting the unnamed man. 

She is heard saying on Facebook:

“What are you doing on my property?  Did you light anything on fire?”

The man responded:

“[He was] just passing through.”

Cast asked him why he had matches in his hands.  He responded:

“I smoke.”

Cast alleges that the man had threatened to start a fire on her property.  Because of this, and the allegation that the man had no cigarettes, she wanted to ensure that the man did not escape and held him at gun point, until police arrived.

Cast held the man until the police arrived on scene and took over.  Although there are pictures of the man seemingly in handcuffs, there has been no confirmation that the man was arrested, and if so, what the charges were.

Cast said that she has received numerous Facebook messages claiming the incident was fake. 

She said:

“I read all your messages to me, even the private ones, I can tell you that this truly did happen and there is nothing fake about it….

I do not wish to speak to anyone, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a journalist who wants to put it out on the news, I will not put my family in danger by exposing myself any more than what I have already, besides, the media will just twist my words…

“If I need to do this again to protect my family and my neighbors, I will in a heartbeat do it again, except this time I will not be as nice as I was…Some of you still think we’re not being attacked. 

“I walked him out of my property at gunpoint and then we got to some asphalt ground on the main road [where I] made him lay down while the cops arrived…Had my husband been here he would have been dead.  This criminal has got multiple warrants, one of them [for] assaulting a police officer.”

Again, there is no confirmation that this person was arrested and/or charged for any fire offense.  Police are also warning people to be wary of conspiracy theories being circulating online alleging members of Antifa or extreme right-wing militants are to blame for the fires. 

As of this article, police have said these claims are unconfirmed.

Throughout the west coast, there are almost 90 different wildfires burning through 10 different states according to the National Interagency Fire Center.  Since the fires started, they have reportedly burned just under 5 million acres of land.

In addition to the lands being lost, there are reports of people dying, suspected of losing their lives as a result of the fire.  Reports have roughly 30 people in total, so far, that have died, including 24 in California, 10 in Oregon, and a child in Washington State.  In total to date, over 42,000 structures have been lost.

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Here is a confirmed arson incident in Oregon that Law Enforcement Today brought you. 

JACKSON COUNTY, OR –For days, Oregon has been the victim of ongoing an raging wildfires throughout the state.  One of them, started in Ashland, Oregon, is now being investigated as an arson.

The fire has been blamed for the destruction of roughly 600 homes so far and has claimed over 3,000 acres.  Now, Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler reports that two bodies were located in the aftermath.

Sickler reported that the Jackson County Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit has started their investigation surrounding the two bodes that were located.  Sickler told the Mail Tribune that nothing has been ruled out as to the cause of the fire:

“We are still in the early stages [of investigation].  Nothing’s been ruled out – it’s still an active investigation.”

This particular fire appeared to have started on September 8th and spread “at an extreme rate,” said Sickler.

As the fire spread, Sheriff’s Deputies and other local law enforcement tried to evacuate as many people as they could.  However, some completely refused to evacuate their homes.  Sickler said:

“We had people refuse to leave their homes.  We don’t know what their status is because we had to move on…This is an event that is larger than anything I’ve been a part of with regards to the loss of property and the destruction to the community.”

Tighe O’Meara, the Police Chief for Ashland Police Department advised that they were viewing the fire as possible arson.  O’Meara told Reuters:

“We have good reason to believe that there was a human element to it.  We’re going to pursue it as a criminal investigation until we have reason to believe it was otherwise.  

O’Meara did not provide much information as to why they believe that this wildfire may be an arson.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown reported that over 10% of the state’s population had been evacuated due to the fires.  She said:

“We have never seen this amount of uncontained fire across our state.”

Police officials report that the fire departments working the active scenes have made progress but noted that the Almeda fire was still very much active.  They also ask that people stay out of the area of the fires as their presence could interfere with firefighters dumping fire retardant and water in the area.

While that arson investigation is underway, police were able to arrest one man for allegedly starting another fire in the same area.  On September 8th, people called the police after seeing a man light a fire behind their home in Phoenix

Oregon State Troopers and Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded and found Michael Bakkela who was standing in the area.  They report that Bakkela “was standing close to a very large fire threatening several homes.”

When police contacted him, they probation violation but did not specify how he violated.  On September 11th, they charged him with two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief, and 14 counts of reckless endangering.  Police have not released how they developed probable cause for Bakkela’s arrest regarding the arson.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Mike Moran, told ABC News that there was a large amount of damage that resulted in the fire that Bakkela allegedly started.  Moran said:

“There are numerous homes, many of which are burnt completely, some are just heavily damaged, that are part of the 15 counts of criminal mischief.” 

The FBI released a statement warning against social media rumors of left or right wing extremists starting the fires.  They said:

“FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon.  With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue.

“Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away [from] local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control.  Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources.”

PORTLAND, OR – The state of Washington has been engulfed in wildfires for the last couple of weeks.  Knowing this, one would think that no one would tempt fate by throwing an incendiary device, however, in Portland, that is exactly what happened.

On September 13th, the Portland Police report that they received information of a brush fire in the area of the 9600 block of East Burnside Street. 

Responding officers reported an area of grass that was on fire and Portland Fire Department responded and was able to put out the flames.

Roughly an hour later, East Precinct officers were flagged down by a person who pointed out a subject who they believed started a fire.  The witness stated that the man, later identified as Domingo Lopez, Jr, had used a Molotov cocktail to set the area on fire and was staying in a tent close to their location. 

Officers made contact with Lopez who allegedly admitted to starting the fires and he was placed under arrest.

Lopez was taken to the Multnomah County Jail for the charges of reckless burning and disorderly conduct in the second degree.  Portland Police Department advised that arson investigators will continue their investigation to determine if there are any other criminal charges that were warranted.

One would think that Lopez would have either stayed in jail or, at the very least, not have committed any other crimes upon release.  However, you would be wrong, Lopez was apparently released and decided to, allegedly, set additional fires. 

Portland Police advise that their East Precinct Officers responded to additional brush fires on the 14th at 3:37am.  These fires were set along I-205, six in total.  The Portland Fire Department responded and put out three of the fires, which were in the early stages.  Community members were able to stop and put out the remaining three.

Upon checking the area, Portland officers located Lopez walking along the interstate and stopped and talked with him.  During their encounter, officers developed probable cause to arrest him, again, in less than 24 hours, for intentionally setting brush on fire. 

A search incident to arrest revealed a lighter which he had on his person which they seized for evidence.  After Lopez was arrested, police took him to a mental health facility for an evaluation.  In addition, he was issued citations for sex counts of reckless burning of land.

Lopez’s alleged actions of setting fire in the city of Portland comes after the state of Washington has been victim to numerous wildfires.  These fires, mostly of unknown origin, have claimed dozens of acres of land, destroyed homes and property, and left people homeless. 

In addition, at least ten people have lost their lives as a result of the fires throughout the state.  The fires, which are still active, could well be blamed for causing more deaths as authorities have been unable to completely check the areas until they are safe to enter.

Officials have reported that at least one of the fires that was set, besides these that Lopez is accused of, may have been done intentionally.   

On September 8th, people called the police after seeing a man light a fire behind their home in Phoenix

Oregon State Troopers and Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded and found Michael Bakkela who was standing in the area.  They report that Bakkela “was standing close to a very large fire threatening several homes.”

When police contacted him, they probation violation but did not specify how he violated.  On September 11th, they charged him with two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief, and 14 counts of reckless endangering. 

Police have not released how they developed probable cause for Bakkela’s arrest regarding the arson.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Mike Moran, told ABC News that there was a large amount of damage that resulted in the fire that Bakkela allegedly started.  Moran said:

“There are numerous homes, many of which are burnt completely, some are just heavily damaged, that are part of the 15 counts of criminal mischief.” 

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