2 face federal civil disorder charges from Portland protests

2020 Protests

Jesse Herman Bates of Seattle and Michelle Peterson O'Connor of Portland appeared in federal court Wednesday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two people are facing federal civil disorder charges stemming from separate protests in Portland.

Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams announced the charges Wednesday.

Jesse Herman Bates is charged by criminal complaint with civil disorder for allegedly shooting a firefighter with a ball bearing during a protest in the early hours of July 13.

The 38-year-old Seattle resident is accused of shooting the round metal ball bearing from a slingshot as firefighters worked to put out a fire in the middle of an intersection in downtown Portland. The ball bearing hit a firefighter in the chest as he was walking across the street. He was wearing a large medic patch when he was shot.

Officers found Bates just before 4 a.m. holding a crowbar in Lownsdale Square and he tried to run but was hit with a less-lethal munition, dropped the crowbar and was arrested, according to court documents. He was later released.

Seattle police arrested Bates on Aug. 25 in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on an outstanding federal arrest warrant. He was transferred to Oregon by the FBI and made his first appearance in federal court on Wednesday.

The second person facing federal charges is 31-year-old Michelle Peterson O’Connor of Portland. She’s accused of throwing a helmet at an officer making an arrest during a riot near the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct on Aug. 24. The officer was hit in the head and O’Connor was arrested, according to court documents.

She also appeared in federal court on Wednesday.

Both O’Connor and Bates could spend up to five years in federal prison if convicted.

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