Eugene Police detectives are continuing to work the May 29/30 riot case and make arrests. On January 21, at 6 p.m., Eugene Police officers arrested Arei Mathias Johnson, age 25, near W. 8th Avenue during a dispute call for service. The officers discovered a detective had an attempt to locate for Johnson related to the riot. He was charged with three counts of Riot, Burglary in the Second Degree, Theft in the First Degree, two counts of Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, Interfering with Police and Menacing.
The charges are a result of an incident in which two police vehicles were on the westbound I-105 offramp to W. 7th Avenue at 9:27 p.m. on May 29 to protect a rioting crowd of protesters who had marched up into oncoming freeway traffic. Between 50 and 100 rioters were in the area and advanced on the officers, who were outside their vehicle. The officers retreated to inside their vehicles for safety as they were being engulfed. One officer was inside his vehicle as it was surrounded. Johnson is reported to have walked in front of the one of the officer’s vehicle and refused to leave while another rioter swung a large board into the officer’s front windshield, breaking the glass. Later, Johnson was observed unlawfully entering a business through windows broken by other looters. Johnson is reported to have taken merchandise and thrown it out onto the sidewalk in front of the store. He is also reported to have stood in front of a civilian’s vehicle in the area. The vehicle was surrounded by other rioters, who were yelling at the driver and then began hitting, kicking and throwing objects at the vehicle. Johnson is reported to have jumped on the vehicle’s hood and walked up the windshield to the car’s roof and then stomped on the sedan’s windshield, breaking glass before jumping off.
To date, 23 people have been arrested. This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated. Detectives are interested in any information from the public about any other rioters involved from this event as well as any photos or videos of the incident that attendees may have taken and are willing to provide to police. The TIP line is 541-262-5388.