Grand Jury Indicts Portland Rioter Who Tried to Punch Cop in Face


PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that a Portland, Oregon resident has been charged with Civil Disorder after he attempted to punch a Portland Police officer in the face during an unlawful assembly on August 4, 2020.

A federal grand jury in Portland has returned a 1-count indictment charging Travis Austin Hessel, 27, with Civil Disorder.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of August 4, 2020, an unlawful assembly was declared near the Penumbra Kelly Public Safety Building, located at 4735 E. Burnside Street in Portland, after individuals in a crowd of protestors shined powerful lasers at officers’ eyes, threw water bottles, beer and soda cans, marbles, and other hard objects at police officers. The crowd also blocked vehicular traffic on the street requiring a fire engine to divert around the protestors in order to respond to a structure fire.

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When officers attempted to disburse the protestors, a smaller group of protestors braced themselves in an effort to resist being moved. A physical melee ensued, during which Hessel threw a punch at a female officer. When the officer grabbed him in order to place him under arrest, Hessel attempted to flee and dragged the officer a short distance before she lost her grip. Two other officers were able to detain Hessel and placed him under arrest.

Hessel was arraigned on the Indictment in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman. Hessel pleaded not guilty, and ordered released pending a 2-day jury trial scheduled to begin on December 8, 2020.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case. It is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

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