An 18-year-old Portland man is facing federal charges for allegedly assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and damaging state-owned property during a demonstration that turned violent in downtown, according to authorities. The assault on the officer left both his legs severely damaged, according to the US Attorney's Office in Oregon.
Oregon police have made quite a few arrests lately following the Portland protests that resulted in severe damage of government property, with many officers suffering severe injury while trying to confront demonstrators. However, this is the first arrest of a person under the age of 20.
Young But Aggressive
Isaiah Jason Maza Jr was arrested and charged on Monday for allegedly injuring a federal officer after damaging the federal courthouse building in downtown Portland, according to the US Attorney's Office in Oregon. The incident occurred on the morning of July 22, when Maza removed plywood sheeting attached to the front of the courtroom building, which was placed to protect the already damaged façade.
After pulling back the plywood, Maza tried to kick in the window and smashed it with a metal object and then with a hammer. Once he broke open the window, he carried a cylindrical object and allegedly lit a fuse before putting it inside the broken window.
The object exploded injuring law enforcement officials who were trying to escape through the window. In the process, one marshal was severely wounded. Both the legs of the federal officer were blasted in the explosion, who is still recovering from his injuries.
Caught at Last
Maza managed to escape from the scene following the incident. According to the US District Attorney's Office, he was arrested days later during a similar protest. Maza was chased by officers and was arrested one block away from the courthouse building. However, Maza was assisted by a few others to remove the plywood but officers managed to catch only him.
Maza's arrest follows President Donald Trump's ruling in June end that strict action will be taken against those who damage country or state-owned buildings and monuments of historical importance. Portland has seen violent demonstrations over the past two months following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
The protests have seen several state-owned buildings being damaged and statues being toppled by agitated demonstrators that include the courthouse building and Justice Center. Also, several officers have been injured during the protests.
Maza made his first appearance in federal court on Monday and was "ordered detained pending further court proceedings." If proved guilty, he could end up serving 20 years in prison alongside a fine of $250,000. The property damage charge is punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.