A bomb was thrown at the Portland federal courthouse during one of the nights of violent protest in Portland. A Trump-supporting, 69-year-old woman exposed the suspect publicly — her own grandson.
Karla Fox says she recognized the alleged bomber as her daughter’s son, 18-year-old Gabriel “Rico” Agard-Berryhill.
He wore a very distinctive vest during the IED attack. It was a vest she had given him.
The bomb could be heard more than a block away.
Mrs. Fox recalled that she bought the vest.
“I bought the vest for him after he found one online after getting hit with rubber bullets the night before at the protest,” Fox told The Post. (She even left a positive review on clothing site Hibbett: “I got this for my grandson who’s a protester downtown, he uses it every night and says it does the job.”) She posted a photo of him posing in the $26 non-bulletproof apparel.
HE WAS ARRESTED
Agard-Berryhill posted incriminating messages to the NY Post.
“The device I’ve been accused of allegedly throwing was allegedly given to me by an unknown protestor with full face coverings,” he wrote. “I was allegedly told that it was a strobe firework that wouldn’t damage the building or harm anyone around it.”
He added: “Law enforcement has not contacted me for any alleged crime as of right now.”
Late that same night Agard-Berryhill told his probation officer he wanted to turn himself in. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center, according to the affidavit by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent. He’s charged with felony arson, and faces a minimum of five years in prison if convicted. He was released without bail.
The grandmother claims she did not know her grandson’s politics and was unaware the Portland protests, now in their second month, were marked by nightly rioting.
Fox says when she last saw her grandson last week, he said that he was peacefully protesting and “protected a girl.” A man in the same vest, identified as “Rico” in the affidavit, appears in a viral July 18 video using a shield to protect a nude protester dubbed “Naked Athena.”
“I believed all his stories,” Fox says. “He said he was just hanging out at Riot Ribs [an anarchist food co-op] and doing peaceful things.”
“I don’t condone any of this,” Fox told The Post. “I am amazed at all of these events.”
She Didn’t Know She Helped Authorities
Posting under the Twitter handle, “@TRUMPSGIRL2020,” Fox tweeted a response to an article with Agard-Berryhill’s photo: “This is my only grandson, I love him to death, and didn’t know he was going to do such a bad thing, I had been posting several things about the antifa and BLM, he knows I am against those riots bigtime … he chose his poison.”
Her grandson asked her to remove the post. She didn’t know the post helped authorities identify him.
Fox said her grandson is currently on probation for a felony conviction when he was a minor. She said he spent the past two years at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility in southern Oregon and recently talked of turning his life around, and getting a job at Amazon.
Fox spoke Thursday with Agard-Berryhill’s mother — her daughter — who told her she was not aware of the bomb video.
Before the arrest, Fox had said of her grandson, “I love my grandson and pray for him to get the help he needs.”
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 28, 2020