Texas Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Assaulting Deputy U.S. Marshal with Hammer During Portland Protests

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judge with gavel, stock photo.

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Texas man was sentenced to federal prison today for assaulting a Deputy U.S. Marshal with a construction hammer during a July 2020 protest in Downtown Portland.

Jacob Michael Gaines, 24, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

“Mr. Gaines’ actions in July 2020 were intentional, dangerous, and could have severely injured or killed the Deputy U.S. Marshal who confronted him. His assault on a federal officer justifies the lengthy prison sentence imposed today,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

According to court documents, at approximately 1:00am on July 11, 2020, Gaines was observed using a hammer to break through a barricaded entrance at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. At the time, federal law enforcement personnel were staged inside the courthouse to protect the facility and respond to incidents. After Gaines drove a hole through the plywood barrier, Deputy U.S. Marshals exited the door to prevent him from trespassing into the closed building.

As the marshals were exiting the barricaded door, Gaines struck a Deputy U.S. Marshal three times with the 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.

On July 12, 2020, Gaines was charged by criminal complaint with one count of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon. Later, on July 16, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted Gaines on the same charge. Gaines has been held in custody since his arrest the night of the incident. On September 8, 2021, he pleaded guilty to the single charge.

Acting U.S. Attorney Asphaug made the announcement.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Courthouse barricade with hole from Gaines’ hammer strikes

Gaines outside courthouse barricade with hammer in right hand

Deputy US Marshal approaching Gaines

4lb Dewalt construction hammer seized from Gaines