Suspect in Washington Co. explosion tried to harm officers, court docs say

Suspect in explosives case faces new charges

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Washington County man who was injured by a small explosion in his SUV during a traffic stop faces federal charges.

Jason Paul Schaefer, 26, is charged with assault on a federal officer, and using an explosive to commit a felony.

Schaefer lost several fingers from his left hand in the Oct. 11 explosion near a Rock Creek apartment complex. The blast also injured a detective who was hit by glass and Schaefer’s mangled flesh, court documents said.

Schaefer refused to comply with officers’ commands during the traffic stop. He held out what appeared to be a pack of cigarettes and a lighter and yelled that everyone was going to die, according to court documents. Schaefer then lit the pack, which caused the explosion.

Schaefer was quickly taken into custody. Prosecutors in court on Thursday said officers found another unexploded explosive device in Schaefer’s SUV.

Schaefer didn’t say much during his initial federal court appearance on Thursday afternoon, only speaking to acknowledge the judge. He wore a blue jail jumpsuit and had a thick bandage on his left hand.

A judge ordered him to stay in custody pending his next court appearance, scheduled for next week.

“We believe Mr. Schaefer poses a very dangerous risk to our community,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel said while arguing that Schaefer should stay behind bars.

Schaefer’s defense attorney declined to comment on the case after court, but told the judge he disagrees with how the prosecution has described his client’s actions.

Before Schaefer was arrested, FBI agents and other law enforcement members executed a search warrant at Schaefer’s apartment, located at 18840 NW Rock Creek Circle. Inside the apartment, authorities found a dark, granular material with what appeared to be an electric match inside an open metal cabinet, court documents said. The electric match was connected to a receiver and remote firing system.

Investigators also found several containers of chemicals used to make explosives.

The FBI in September learned that Schaefer had purchased hexamine, which can be used to make a chemical found in homemade explosives for suicide bombings.

While authorities were searching Schaefer’s apartment, he was meeting with special agents at the Washington County Probation Office. He stormed out of the interview very quickly, court documents said, and later went back to his apartment complex. That’s where he found authorities waiting for him and ran to his SUV and drove away. 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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