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Portland protester who attacked US Marshal with hammer in brazen nighttime attack faces federal charges

Disturbing footage shows Jacob Michael Gaines, 23, waiting with a hammer outside a door to the federal courthouse
UPDATED JUL 16, 2020
Jacob Michael Gaines (Portland Police)
Jacob Michael Gaines (Portland Police)

PORTLAND, OREGON: A Portland protester who was caught on camera attacking a US Marshal with a hammer in a brazen nighttime attack is now facing federal charges for the crime. Jacob Michael Gaines has been charged "by criminal complaint with one count of assaulting a federal officer," according to a release.

Disturbing footage shows the 23-year-old waiting with a hammer outside a door to the federal courthouse in downtown Portland at around 1 am Saturday. "At the time, federal law enforcement personnel were staged inside the courthouse to protect the facility and respond to incidents," Oregon US Attorney Billy Williams said in the release. "Law enforcement attempted to exit the courthouse to prevent Gaines from breaching the barricaded entrance."


Gaines allegedly launched an attack as soon as Marshals began pouring out the exit, bashing a deputy several times before he was eventually subdued. The deputy was reportedly struck three times in the shoulder neck, and lower back. He was somehow able to dodge serious injuries.

"While being struck, the deputy managed to hold onto Gaines while other officers handcuffed him and placed him under arrest," Williams said.

Gaines appeared before a US Magistrate Judge on Monday and was released pending further proceedings. As the case is investigated by the US Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service, it is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. According to prosecutors, the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse has been vandalized multiple times during riots in the city and so Marshals had been deployed inside to protect the building.

Viral footage shows Antifa slogan “ACAB” — an acronym for “All cops are bastards” — scrawled in black spray paint along the outside wall of the building. "For several weeks, the Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism during evening protests and riots, sustaining extensive damage," according to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. "US Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and US Customs and Border Protection working to protect the courthouse have been subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators while performing their duties."

4 lb DeWalt construction hammer seized from Gaines. (US Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon)

Meanwhile, Portland was ravaged by yet another night of violent protests on Wednesday. Law enforcement authorities were forced to use tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds gathered in  Lownsdale Square — where the so-called Chinook Land Autonomous Territory was established.

The death of George Floyd has sparked nationwide outrage and set off massive protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Body-cam footage of the moment Floyd died while being arrested by four cops on May 25 was made public on Wednesday, July 15. As he struggled with the disgraced Minneapolis officers before being pinned to the ground, the African-American man said, “I’m not a bad guy."

The footage in question was comprised of the bodycam recordings from officers Thomas Lane and J. Kueng and was considered evidence in the criminal cases against them and the other two officers. Lane, Kueng, and another officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting. The fourth officer, Derek Chauvin, who held his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, is charged with second-degree murder. All the four were fired the day after Floyd's death.