SALEM, Ore. - Clashes broke out Saturday at the Oregon Capitol when about 200 people gathered for a rally to support President Trump and about 50 anti-Trump protesters showed up. Oregon State Police said a Terrebonne man was arrested after he used pepper spray on a trooper and was found to be carrying a concealed gun, in violation of his status as a convicted felon.
Troopers responded around 11 a.m. to the area just outside the Capitol where some of the 200 to 300 people of opposing groups were involved in a disturbance, said Sgt. Kyle Hove, OSP public information officer.
Officials say up to 300 participants took part, with one rally called the "Oregon Make America Great Again March," and the other called "Salem Stands for Love."
(Update adding details)
One rally started at 9 a.m. and the other an hour later with both lasting until 2 p.m.
Police say the groups clashed at about 11 a.m. near the Oregon World War II Memorial.
Hove said Matthew Curtis Heagy, 31, of Terrebonne, used pepper spray and sprayed a trooper. He was detained and found to be carrying a concealed firearm, though Hove said the gun was never displayed during the event.
Heagy was arrested on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon, Hove said, adding that it's an active investigation and no further information is available.
KGW reported about 200 supporters of the president had gathered near the Capitol for what they intended to be a peaceful rally.
Less than a half-hour after the event began, they reported, about 50 anti-Trump protesters arrived, many wearing all black with their faces covered,
Less than 30 minutes later, a fistfight broke out and a crowd swarmed the area, backing away when an OSP trooper and others yelled, "He's got a gun." The station reported that one man, who appeared to be a Trump supporter, was quickly detained.
Organizers of the rally, who work with the newly founded Northwest Trump Alliance for Change, told KGW they were disappointed with the turn of events, though they knew counter-protesters were planned.
"We are really looking to work with everybody and not just people on our side," Frank George IV said.
Marion County online jail records indicated Heagy was being held without bail, and also faces Deschutes County charges of first-degree theft and computer fraud. Online court records indicate past charges have included fourth-degree assault and coercion.