PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said Monday that a Texas man has been charged with assaulting a U.S. Marshals Service deputy with a construction hammer during weekend protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in downtown Portland.
Jacob Michael Gaines, 23, a Texas man currently residing in a recreational vehicle in Portland, has been charged by criminal complaint with one count of assaulting a federal officer.
According to court documents, at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday, Gaines was observed using a hammer to damage a barricaded entrance at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
At the time, federal law enforcement personnel were staged inside the courthouse to protect the facility and respond to incidents. Law enforcement attempted to exit the courthouse to prevent Gaines from breaching the barricaded entrance.
While attempting to detain him, Gaines struck a U.S. Marshals Service deputy three times with the hammer, Williams said. The deputy deflected the blows to prevent serious injury, but in the process was struck in the left shoulder, lower neck and upper back.
While being struck, the deputy managed to hold onto Gaines while other officers handcuffed him and placed him under arrest.
Gaines made his initial appearance in federal court Monday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and was released pending further proceedings.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
For several weeks, the Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism during evening protests and riots, sustaining extensive damage.
U.S. Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection working to protect the courthouse have been subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators while performing their duties.