- The Washington Times - Monday, July 13, 2020

A Texas man was charged with assaulting a U.S. Marshals Service deputy with a construction hammer during weekend protests in front of a federal courthouse in downtown Portland, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.

Jacob Michael Gaines, 23, faces one count of assaulting a federal officer.

Prosecutors say Mr. Gaines was using a hammer to damage a barricaded entrance at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. When the U.S. Marshals exited the courthouse to prevent Mr. Gaines from breaching the barricade, he struck the deputy three times with the hammer, according to the criminal complaint.

The deputy deflected the blows to avoid serious injury, but during the assault was struck in the left shoulder, lower neck and upper back, prosecutors said. Despite being hit with the hammer, the deputy managed to hold on to Mr. Gaines while other officers handcuffed and arrested him, according to court documents.

Mr. Gaines appeared before a federal judge Monday and was released pending further proceedings.

The courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism during the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

The Justice Department said U.S. Marshals, Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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