Domingo Lopez Jr. is an Oregon resident accused of starting at least 7 brush fires in Portland.
The 45-year-old was first arrested on the evening of September 13 after police say he used a Molotov cocktail to start a fire along a Portland freeway, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Police were dispatched around 4:30 p.m. to assist Portland Fire & Rescue with a fire on the grassy area near the I-205 freeway, the Bureau continued.
No structures were damaged as a result of the fire and no one was reported injured, the release added.
“About an hour later, East officers were flagged down by a witness who pointed out the suspect in a nearby tent. Officers arrested the suspect, who confirmed he lit the fire with the device,” the Bureau said in its release.
Lopez was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, according to the Portland bureau. He was then released on his own accord that night.
Just a few hours later, he was arrested again on September 14 after cops claimed he started six more fires along the same highway around 3:30 in the morning.
“Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished three of them while passing community members put out the other three. All were caught early,” the Bureau disclosed. “No one was injured and no structures were burnt. Officers located Domingo Lopez, Junior walking along the shoulder and arrested him. They seized a lighter as evidence.”
Lopez’s actions come as wildfires across Oregon continue to devastate the state.
According to one dashboard manned by Oregon Emergency Management, there are 37 active fires and more than 805,000 acres burned.
Here’s what you need to know about Domingo Lopez Jr.:
1. Lopez Has been Transported to a Hospital for a Mental Health Evaluation
The Portland Police Bureau announced in its online release that Lopez has been taken to a local hospital on a Police Officer Hold to have his mental health evaluated.
He has also been charged with 6 additional counts of Reckless Burning, according to the Bureau.
Lopez now faces a total of seven counts of Reckless Burning and one count of Second-Degree Disorderly Conduct.
2. So Far, Lopez’s Motive for Starting the Fires Remains Unknown
Police have not yet disclosed a motive behind the 45-year-old’s role in starting the fires.
Meanwhile, Oregon officials have been denying rumors that militants connected to Antifa are purposefully starting fires across the state.
In a post shared on Facebook, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported that the group has not started any fires and rumors that six antifa members were arrested are false.
Remember when we said to follow official sources only. Remember when we said rumors make this already difficult incident even harder? Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON.
THIS IS NOT TRUE! Unfortunately, people are spreading this rumor and it is causing problems.
Do your part, STOP. SPREADING. RUMORS! Follow official sources of information such as local emergency response websites and pages, government websites and pages and local reputable news outlets.
Please, share far and wide!
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also dispelled the rumors.
3. Many Have Taken to Social Media to Peg Lopez as the Face of Climate Change
As news of Lopez’s arrests continues to circulate online, many have taken to Twitter to blame the man for climate change.
Below are some of the responses:
Climate change is some Hispanic dude named Domingo Lopez Jr., 45 years old.
— PixelNig (@PixelNig) September 15, 2020
Future generations will refer to Climate Change as “Domingo Lopez Jr.” https://t.co/STWPeHPt4C
— Rob Akers (@rob_akers) September 14, 2020
Domingo Lopez Jr. was arrested, using a Molotov Cocktail to start the brush fire & booked in the #MultnomahCountyDetentionCenter on charges of reckless burning & second degree disorderly conduct.
Lopez was later released & and started 6 more fires.
— BigDaddyJoGo (@BigDaddyJoGo) September 15, 2020
Domingo Lopez Jr, now climate change has a name.
— Anna Xathis (@MyTakkies) September 14, 2020
— Steve W. Kurtz (@SteveWKurtz) September 14, 2020
4. Lopez Hails from Texas, According to His Social Media
According to his Facebook page, Lopez hails from the Texas cities of Austin and Luling.
His page also notes that he attended Luling High School.
Several pictures and posts indicate that Lopez is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys football team.
Although his Facebook doesn’t cite when he moved to Portland, Lopez uploaded several videos in 2012 showcasing Portland scenery.
5. Lopez Claims He is Self-Employed
Lopez wrote on Facebook that he is self-employed, according to his About section.
His birthday is on March 1, as seen in one of his Facebook photos, and his relationship status is set as single.
A few of Lopez’s public Facebook posts relate to online gambling.