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Press Release

Tacoma man charged with unlawful possession of destructive device at Capitol Hill protest that turned violent

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant arrested after smashing windows at a business–Molotov cocktail found in his backpack

(Seattle)—A 19-year-old Tacoma man who attended a Seattle protest armed with an improvised explosive device is now charged federally, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  SAMI C. HORNER is charged with unlawful possession of a destructive device.  HORNER made his initial appearance on the charge today in U.S. District Court in Seattle. 

According to the criminal complaint, on Wednesday night, August 26, 2020, HORNER was identified in a group of people that first assembled at Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.  As the group marched on 15th Avenue East, HORNER was observed smashing windows at a bank branch.  HORNER was chased down and arrested.  In his backpack law enforcement found a glass bottle with a wick, filled with flammable material.  HORNER also carried two lighters, a helmet, a mask with filters, and a walkie-talkie.  The glass bottle, more commonly referred to as a Molotov Cocktail, fits the legal definition of an incendiary device.

Possession of an improvised explosive device is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Seattle Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Woods. 



Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated September 10, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime