PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Attorney in Oregon announced federal charges Tuesday against seven people accused in court papers of defacing a federal courthouse and assaulting federal officers as riots broke out amid protests in Portland against racial injustice and police brutality.
The protesters are charged with offenses ranging from disorderly conduct to destruction of federal property and assaulting a federal officer.
Protesters in Portland have demonstrated for 40 consecutive nights following the death of George Floyd and are increasingly focusing their actions on federal properties in the city's downtown core, including the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. All seven people were released after a brief hearing Monday.
U.S. Attorney's Office news release:
Seven Arrested, Facing Federal Charges After Weekend Riots at Hatfield Federal Courthouse (Photo)
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/07/20 12:30 PM
Charges include assaults on law enforcement officers, destruction of federal property, and disorderly conduct
PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that seven people have been arrested and face federal charges for their roles in weekend riots at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland.
According to court documents, since May 26, 2020, protests in downtown Portland have regularly been followed by nightly criminal activity including assaults on law enforcement officers, destruction of property, looting, arson, and vandalism.
Rowan Olsen, 19, of Portland, is charged with disorderly conduct, creating a hazard on federal property, and failing to obey a lawful order; Shant Singh Ahuja, 28, of Oceanside, California, is charged with destruction of federal property; and Andrew Steven Faulkner, 24, of Beaverton, Oregon; Gretchen Margaret Blank, 29, of Seattle, Washington; Christopher Fellini, 31, of Portland; Cody Porter, 28, of Portland; and Taimane Jame Teo, 24, of Eugene, Oregon, are charged with assaulting federal officers.
The Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism, 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 threats; aerial fireworks including mortars; high intensity lasers targeting officers’ eyes; thrown rocks, bottles, and balloons filled with paint from demonstrators while performing their duties.
On July 2-3, 2020, Olsen is accused of using his body to push on and hold a glass door at the Hatfield Courthouse closed, preventing officers from exiting the building and causing the door to shatter. With the door broken, a mortar firework entered the courthouse, detonating near the officers. The officers used shields and their bodies to block the open doorway for approximately six hours until demonstrators dispersed.
On July 4, 2020, Ahuja is accused of willfully destroying a closed-circuit video camera mounted on the exterior of the Hatfield Courthouse.
On July 5, 2020, Blank is accused of assaulting a federal officer with a shield while the officer was attempting to arrest another protestor.
On July 5-6, 2020, Faulkner, Fellini, Porter, and Teo are accused of assaulting federal officers with high intensity lasers. At the time of his arrest, Faulkner also possessed a sheathed machete.
All seven defendants made their first appearances in federal court on July 6, 2020 and were released pending trial.
These cases are being investigated jointly by the U.S. Marshals Service; FBI; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Federal Protective Service; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Homeland Security Investigations.