Protestor charged with starting fire outside PPB North Precinct pleads guilty

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced the resolution of the first felony protest-related case initiated since the death of George Floyd.

Rollin Tristan Fodor, 18, appeared in court on Thursday August 26, 2020 and pleaded guilty to one count of arson in the first degree.

Fodor received a sentence that includes 45 days in jail (credit for time already served), 160 hours of community service and 36 months of formal probation. As part of his probation conditions, Fodor will be required to obey all laws.

“I want to thank the work of the Portland Police Bureau and its Detective Division for their dedicated efforts investigating this and the many other instances of arson and violence that have occurred during the recent mass demonstrations. This type of criminal behavior is not acceptable and we will prosecute these cases when the allegations are supported by evidence. Had this building caught fire, there would have been a significant risk of property damage or even physical injury to the police officers, fire fighters and other community members inside,” said Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt. 

This investigation started on June 26, 2020 during a mass demonstration outside the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct. During the demonstration, individuals pushed a garbage dumpster adjacent to the exterior wall of the Mid-K Beauty Supply store and then proceeded to set the dumpster’s content on fire.

Fodor is seen on video entering the area and placing an item on top of the growing dumpster fire.

The Mid-K Beauty Supply store is on the northwest corner of the mixed-use building that includes North Precinct and several other private businesses.

By pleading guilty, Fodor admitted he started a fire and recklessly placed protected property of another in danger of damage. Arson in the first degree is a Class A felony.

The Portland Police Bureau supported the resolution of this case.

This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys Shawn Overstreet and Todd Jackson. Portland Police Bureau Detective Meredith Hopper is the lead investigator.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office continues to prosecute criminal matters that occur at protests/mass demonstrations. Our policy is designed to focus limited prosecution resources on violent crimes. Our policy states that we will presumptively decline to charge cases resulting from a protest or mass demonstration where the most serious offense is a city ordinance violation or a crime that does not involve property damage, theft, or the use or threat of force against another person.

As with all presumptions, where an individual case presents unusual, aggravating circumstances, prosecutors may obtain supervisor approval to proceed with the case.

A copy of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s protest policy can be obtained here.