On Wednesday, Texas man Jacob Michael Gaines, 24, pleaded guilty for assaulting a Deputy US Marshal with a hammer during a July 2020 Antifa riot in Portland, Oregon.
According to a statement from the United States Attorney's Office District of Oregon, Gaines pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
“We are very fortunate Mr. Gaines did not severely injure or kill the Deputy U.S. Marshal who confronted him outside the federal courthouse last summer. Assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon is a very serious crime and will be handled by our office accordingly,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Scott Erik Asphaug.
“Anyone who assaults or tries to hurt a U.S. Marshals Service employee should expect to be charged. Mr. Gaines could have killed the deputy he struck with a construction hammer, and we're grateful to the US Attorney's Office for seeing this case through to its conclusion,” Peter Cajigal, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Oregon, stated.
According to court documents, at around 1:00 am on July 11, 2020, Gaines was spotted "using a hammer to break through a barricaded entrance at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse," according to the statement.
Federal law enforcement was staged inside the building at that time to protect the facility and respond to nearby incidents.
Gaines reportedly broke a hole through the plywood barrier protecting the building's entrance. At that moment Deputy U.S. Marshals left through the door to prevent Gaines from gaining entry into the building.
As the Deputy US Marshals were exiting the building, Gaines struck one Marshal three times with his hammer.
"The deputy deflected the blows to prevent serious injury, but in 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," the statement reads.
Gaines was charged by criminal complaint with one count of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon on July 12, 2020, with a federal grand jury indicting Gaines on the same charge on July 16, 2020.
Gaines has been in custody since his arrest following the attack.
According to the United States Attorney's Office District of Oregon statement, Gaines faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
Gaines will be sentenced on December 13, 2021.