Police say a man who was arrested during Monday’s Ferguson protest in Seattle had a cache of weapons, including a handgun, knife, shotgun, semi-automatic rifle, ammunition and powerful fireworks.
Jeffrey Alan Acord, 31, was charged Wednesday in Seattle Municipal Court with possession of a concealed pistol without a permit, carrying a dangerous knife and illegal possession of fireworks. He was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Acord was among five people arrested during the march and protest Monday in Seattle after a grand jury in Missouri decided to not indict a police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black man. Protesters marched from Westlake Park to Capitol Hill and some later clashed with police and climbed onto Interstate 5, blocking traffic.
During the violence, fireworks were fired into the sky and police said they were pelted with rocks, bottles and canned food.
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said it’s unclear why Acord had the weapons.
“I don’t know what his plans were, but it’s obviously of great concern that someone would come to an event in Seattle with those weapons readily available,” O’Toole said Wednesday.
A member of the media covering the protest at Sixth Avenue and Olive Street notified police about Acord after seeing him trying to light some type of flare, according to a law enforcement source.
When officers approached Acord and asked if he was armed, he “said he did have a gun in his backpack and he did not have a permit to carry the gun,” O’Toole said.
Seattle police found a loaded 9mm handgun and a 7-inch fixed blade knife on Acord when they arrested him, according to a police report.
Police asked Acord if they could search his car, but he declined, O’Toole said. After officers obtained a search warrant, they found an AR-15 semi-automatic assault-style rifle, shotgun, fireworks and ammunition in his car, she added.
O’Toole described the fireworks as “not just any ordinary fireworks.”
The fireworks found in the man’s car are similar to an explosive thrown off I-5 when protesters shut down the freeway, she said. While no one was hurt, O’Toole said someone could have been killed.
She said officers are trying to find the person who threw the firework off the freeway overpass.
“When we talk about fireworks, we’re not talking about ordinary fireworks families would use at a Fourth of July picnic,” she said.
In court Wednesday, city prosecutors asked Pro Tem Judge Adam Eisenberg to set Acord’s bail at $50,000, said Kimberly Mills, spokeswoman for City Attorney Pete Holmes. Acord’s criminal history includes negligent driving.
Eisenberg agreed to the city’s request that Acord surrender his firearms and not possess fireworks if he posts bail.
Acord is the third person to be charged in Seattle Municipal Court after being arrested at the protest.
On Tuesday, the City Attorney’s Office charged Neil Vanderloed, 51, with second-degree criminal trespassing; and Devin Dyas-Gordon, 25, with assault and obstructing a police officer.