A Seattle-based Microsoft engineer arrested during violent clashes near the White House had driven across the country to be there after attending riots in Portland and Kenosha, according to police and his social media.
Jeremy Vajko, 27, says he spent more than 40 hours in custody after officers in riot gear were caught on camera yanking him out of his van covered in Black Lives Matter graffiti in Washington, DC, late Saturday.
“There was a van that was driving recklessly, potentially could have hit pedestrians and officers in the area,” Newsham told press Monday, without naming Vajko.
He said the van was registered in Washington state, where Vajko’s LinkedIn says he is still a “lead QA Software Engineer” based in Seattle.
“We have intelligence to suggest that van was also at some of the violence we saw in Portland, Oregon, and some of the violent activity we saw in Kenosha,” the police chief said.
His officers are being helped by the feds in investigating whether there is “an organized, funded attempt to create violence in our city” that could possibly be “domestic terrorism,” Newsham said.
Vajko has regularly updated his social media with accounts of his time at Black Lives Matter protests, starting in his hometown Emerald City.
He most regularly appeared to attend the nightly rallies in Portland, Ore. — even tweeting out a mugshot from a previous arrest there in June, claiming he even spent “10 hours of solidary confinment [sic].”
On June 26, he tweeted how he was “driving straight from Portland to Kenosha” to attend the deadly protests in the Wisconsin city sparked by the police shooting of 29-year-old local dad Jacob Blake.
He repeatedly insisted, however, that he was anti-violence — and was merely using his so-called “Snack Van” to help transport medics and also hand out food and water.
“The Van is just full of free water, food and medical supplies for the homeless and protesters,” he insisted on August 27.
On Monday, he complained about being “held in custody for about 40 something hours” in DC before charges were dropped.
Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment.
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