Seven antifa agitators are facing federal charges after rioting outside of a U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, over the 4th of July weekend.
Seven people arrested at violent #antifa protests and riots in Portland are facing federal charges for assaulting federal officers and destroying property at the federal courthouse. https://t.co/4QXLo7wUsa
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 7, 2020
According to a release from the United States Department of Justice, “the Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism, sustaining extensive damage.”
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.
Since May 26, protests in downtown Portland, Oregon, have been allowed to devolve into riots by nightfall. The nightly criminal activity has included “assaults on law enforcement officers, destruction of property, looting, arson, and vandalism,” according to court documents.
For over a month police have responded to criminal activity in downtown Portland and in other neighborhoods that has caused millions of dollars in damage and has threatened human life and safety. pic.twitter.com/bdEHYENfqr
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 8, 2020
Federal law enforcement officers were deployed over the holiday weekend to restore order.
“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,” the DOJ release states.
The antifa militants have thrown “aerial fireworks including mortars; high intensity lasers targeting officers’ eyes; thrown rocks, bottles, and balloons filled with paint” at officers while they were performing their duties, according to the release.
The defendants are accused of attacking the courthouse with mortars and assaulting federal officers, among other crimes.
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 of the 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,” the DOJ said.
The seven antifa agitators made their first appearances in federal court on Monday and were released pending trial.