Portland Rioter Who Threw Molotov Cocktail at Police Sentenced

cyan waters bass portland riot

Police arrested Cyan Waters Bass after a riot Sept. 23, 2020, after he used a wrist-rocket slingshot to break multiple windows in the Justice Center. Mugshot courtesy of Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

A rioter who admitted to setting fire to Portland’s Justice Center and throwing a Molotov cocktail toward police officers during the 2020 civil unrest was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.

Police arrested Cyan Waters Bass after a riot Sept. 23, 2020, after he used a wrist-rocket slingshot to break multiple windows in the Justice Center, which housed the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct and the Multnomah County Detention Center, and “used a flammable liquid to set the building on fire,” according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. When officers started to disperse the riot and put out the fire, Bass lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it toward police.

“These violent actions endangered the lives and safety of those inside of the Justice Center and the officers present that night,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez said, according to a press release from the DA’s office. “These criminal actions do not reflect the values of this community and will not be tolerated.”

Video published by the Willamette Week shows someone hurling a Molotov cocktail from the crowd the night in question, but authorities have not publicly tied that video to Bass.

Bass was convicted of criminal mischief, arson, riot, attempted assault, and unlawful possession of an explosive device. He pleaded guilty to all charges and received a 48-month prison sentence.

His co-defendant, Hannah Lilly, was sentenced in February 2021 to a year and a half of probation, community service, and $46,000 in restitution to the county for aiding and abetting Bass during the September riot.

Both defendants originally had their local charges dropped, but the DA’s office later reinstated the charges, KOIN 6 News reported.

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Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear-gassed during the 2020-21 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.
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