Feds detail charges against protesters for hammer attack, laser use

2020 Protests

Affidavit confirms presence of plainclothes agents in protest crowds

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two protesters are facing federal charges after officials say one of them shined a laser into federal agents’ eyes and another attacked a U.S. Marshal with a hammer.

The alleged altercations happened Friday night during ongoing demonstrations in downtown Portland. According to an affidavit filed in United States District Court, officers spotted Jacob Gaines using a hammer to “damage a barricaded wooden entrance” at the Federal Courthouse. Marshals tried to stop the 23-year-old man, and Gaines hit one of them three times with the hammer, according to the affidavit.

The marshal avoided serious injury, and Gaines was arrested around 1:15 a.m. July 11. He faces one count of assault on a federal officer, a felony.

A second protester was arrested during the same demonstrations, accused of shining a green laser into law enforcement officer’s eyes.

The protester, identified as 24-year-old Edward Carubis, shined a laser into at least three agents’ eyes, according to the affidavit, resulting in watery eyes, blurred vision, and a sun spot that obscured one agents’ vision about 20 minutes after the incident. Portland police officers detained Carubis and confiscated a laser, umbrella, black hat, and a trashcan that had been fashioned into a shield.

Federal agents took this photo of a man they identified as Edward Carubis, accused of shining a laser at law enforcement July 11, 2020 (photo taken from court documents)

Carubis faces a felony charge of assault on a federal officer. Both suspects remained in custody as of Monday. It’s unclear if they have attorneys.

The affidavit against Carubis also confirms what protesters have long suspected: Undercover agents have been embedded in the crowds. According to federal agents, photos of Carubis were sent to “plainclothes agents working in the crowd” prior to his arrest.

The Associated Press reported last week that Homeland Security forces were deployed to Portland, where protests have happened every night for more than six weeks, initially sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

READ: Federal affidavit on charges against Edward Carubis

READ: Federal affidavit on charges against Jacob Gaines

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