Feds arrest man accused of striking US Marshal with wooden bat

The 24-year-old man allegedly hit the federal officer on the back, neck and shoulder as officers were trying to disperse a crowd


By Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A 24-year-old man is accused of striking a federal officer in the back, neck and shoulder with a wooden baseball bat as officers attempted to disperse a crowd in downtown Portland during the early hours of July 27.

Dakotah Ray Horton is due in federal court in Portland Wednesday afternoon after his arrest Tuesday, accused of assault on a federal officer. He’s being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

A screenshot of the suspect striking a deputy U.S. Marshal during protest in Portland, Oregon on July 27. (Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office Oregon)
A screenshot of the suspect striking a deputy U.S. Marshal during protest in Portland, Oregon on July 27. (Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office Oregon)

The encounter occurred about 1:20 a.m., as federal officers were attempting to disperse a crowd outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse after someone had tried to cut through the fence outside with a power tool and others threw bottles and fireworks at officers, deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher Tamayo wrote in a federal affidavit filed in court.

While several deputy U.S. marshals attempted to arrest a protester, Horton is accused of striking one of the marshals in the upper back, neck and shoulder area with a wooden baseball bat, the affidavit says.

The deputy marshal struck was kneeling on the ground and was hit from behind by the bat in an encounter caught on a live video feed, according to the affidavit.

By examining the live footage and screenshots of the bat-wielding suspect, investigators compared the images to others posted on social media from earlier night and early morning demonstration.

They compared the clothing of the man with the bat - down to his black-and white Converse Chuck Taylor-stye shoes and light gray sweatshirt with black lettering on front, and to images of the person earlier and later that morning to help identify him, Tamayo said.

By Aug. 2, the U.S. Marshals Service circulated a bulletin to law enforcement agencies in the Portland metropolitan area with screenshots of the suspect, including close-up images of his face in an effort to identify him.

Just before midnight Monday, a deputy U.S. Marshal saw Horton leave a Rock Creek area apartment wearing the same clothing he had on outside the federal courthouse on July 27.

With help from Washington County Sheriff’s Office, a car Horton got into was stopped and Horton was arrested. Police seized a 9mm gun he was wearing in a waist holster, the affidavit said.

Horton is one of about 62 people facing federal allegations stemming from the nightly demonstrations in the city. Allegations range from arson and attempted arson to assault and failure to obey an officer’s order.

Since Oregon Gov. Kate Brown reached an agreement with the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the end of July, federal officers have largely remained inside the downtown federal courthouse, as Portland police and, until Thursday, state police, worked to disperse crowds outside the courthouse instead. State police withdrew their approximately 100 troopers from Portland protest coverage last Thursday.

Several lawsuits are pending against federal officers, alleging they’ve used excessive and inappropriate force against peaceful protesters, journalists and legal observers.

©2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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