A 31-year-old Covington man faces weapons charges after police say he brought an “arsenal” of guns and explosive fireworks to Monday night’s Ferguson protest that included a night of peaceful rallies and marches across downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill before clashes with police around I-5. From SPD:
A bystander alerted police to a suspicious man Monday and reported seeing him handling a road flare during a well-attended demonstration. Officers contacted the man, who told police he was carrying a loaded handgun, despite not having a concealed weapons permit. Police then discovered the man was also carrying a 7-inch knife in his backpack, and had a box of ammunition, an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a box full of large fireworks in his car.
Jeffrey Acord has been charged in Seattle Municipal Court for having a concealed firearm without a permit, carrying a “dangerous knife,” and possession of fireworks. Acord was released from jail Thursday night after posting $10,000 bail, according to King County Jail records.
He was taken into custody near 6th and Olive around 12:30 AM Tuesday. According to the Seattle Times, the suspect was pointed out to police by “a member of the media covering the protest.”
Acord’s arrest came minutes after two gunpoint street robbery attempts in the area but police determined he did not match any of the suspect descriptions in those crimes.
Police say Acord’s arrest was one of five on the night as protesters scrambled onto I-5 and brought traffic to a standstill as they attempted to evade police.
SPD says it is also looking for a second suspect who brought explosive fireworks to the protest and provided this video of an incident on I-5:
SPD investigators are also looking for a second man, seen throwing a large improvised explosive at officers as they worked to reopen Interstate 5 (1:55 in the video below) .
While it’s not clear what Acord’s intentions were, Seattle Police are taking the incident seriously. The department took the unusual step of posting details of the charges and a copy of the reporting officer’s “narrative” (PDF) on the incident to its SPD Blotter blog.
Monday night’s mostly peaceful demonstrations were followed by a larger, calmer march Tuesday calling for a stepped-up federal investigation and indictment — along with continued smaller acts of civil disobedience and protest. Organizers have said they hope for the Seattle demonstrations to continue through the weekend.