A 19-year-old from Tacoma arrested with what federal agents say was a Molotov cocktail in his backpack after Seattle Police chased him down for vandalism at a 15th Ave E Key Bank in a Capitol HIll protest march has been charged in U.S. District court.
Sami Horner, who turned 19 in March, is charged with unlawful possession of a destructive device after police say they found the flammable bomb in the backpack Horner was carrying when he was chased down by Seattle Police following Wednesday night’s vandalism and property damage along 15th Ave E.
Here is the announcement on the charges from the United States Attorney Western District of Washington:
According to the criminal complaint, on Wednesday night, August 26, 2020, HORNER was identified in a group of people that first assembled at Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. As the group marched on 15th Avenue East, HORNER was observed smashing windows at a bank branch. HORNER was chased down and arrested. In his backpack law enforcement found a glass bottle with a wick, filled with flammable material. HORNER also carried two lighters, a helmet, a mask with filters, and a walkie-talkie. The glass bottle, more commonly referred to as a Molotov Cocktail, fits the legal definition of an incendiary device.
According to the charging documents and the SPD arrest report, Horner tried to claim he was carrying a backpack for a friend:
Police say they arrested Horner after he was seen with a group of people smashing the Key Bank “causing an estimated over thousand dollars in damage.”
Prosecutors say the bottle of liquid found in the backpack was tested by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “senior explosives enforcement officer” who determined it was “likely designed as a weapon” and that the substance “tested positive for a chemical in the flammable liquid family.”
The charge against Horner joins a flurry of federal legal activity involving Capitol Hill protesters. The Department of Justice announced earlier this week it has charged 19-year-old Desmond David-Pitts of Alaska with arson for his part in a fire set outside 12th and Pine’s East Precinct Monday night.
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