PORTLAND, OR – The City of Portland, Oregon, much like other democratic led cities has seen massive increases of protests and riots since the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Many had claimed that protesters were all local with only a few in the groups that had travelled.
We have also been told that those that attend these protests are only doing so peacefully. Now we’ve learned that in yet another case, a man traveled to Portland to “cause chaos.”
Homeland Security Investigations authored a federal arrest affidavit for Nicholas Joseph Bantista, from Illinois, for taking part in a protest on September 25th.
In the complaint, it is alleged that Bantista assaulted a federal agent by throwing a rock at them.
Federal agents were stationed in front of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office protecting it from rioters and looters. While one was on patrol, Bantista, allegedly, armed himself with a rock and threw it at the agent, striking him in the helmet.
As the cowards in this case typically do, Bantista then fled the scene on foot.
After all, he did not want to be in a confrontation where he would actually face the consequence of his actions. However, the coward was not able to get very far and was captured by federal agents.
Instead of surrendering, which would have been the adult thing to do, Bantista allegedly resisted the officers efforts at taking him into custody by pulling his arms under his chest in an attempt to prevent being handcuffed.
The agents were able to remove his arms and place him in handcuffs without further incident. While Bantista was being placed under arrest, federal agents reported finding an airsoft replica gun [looked real] from his person.
Once he was in custody, federal agents read Bantista the Miranda Warning which he waived, agreeing to speak to law enforcement without an attorney present. Bantista admitted to being at the scene and throwing an object toward the federal agent, however, denies that it was a rock.
He claimed that he threw some type of bouncy ball at the agent.
However, despite Bantista’s claims, the agent who was hit with the object stated it was heavier and denser than a bouncy ball. Bantista tried to ensure law enforcement that he did not mean to do any form of violence to the officer. Bantista was charged with assault on a federal office which is listed as a Class A misdemeanor.
Natalie Wight, an Assistant US Attorney, informed a federal judge that Bantista was currently staying in a tent in the city of Portland. He had been there for less than a week, and according to the Oregonian, she alleged that he had only come to the city “to wreak havoc during these riots.”
Bantista is familiar with the legal system as he is already on probation out of Illinois for assaulting a police officer.
In that instance, he was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm for waving a gun and telling police that he would fire it if they did not shoot him.
Clearly, Bantista did not fire the weapon and was successfully able to be taken into custody and clearly plead or was found guilty later as he is on probation for the charge.
In June of this year, Bantista was arrested again in Illinois for damaging state property. Based on these facts, prosecution believes that he is a danger to the community.
Bantista’s attorney, Bryan Francesconi, a federal public defender alleged that the prosecution was doing nothing more than going to “pure hyperbole” in order to convince the judge his client is a danger.
Francesconi alleged that the prosecution lacked evidence that his client threw a rock, other than the fact that the agent that was hit can certainly attest what a bouncy ball versus a rock feels like.
Despite Francesconi’s claims, US Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You sided with the prosecution on this case for now. You said that Bantista’s criminal past was concerning and were “red flags.”
Man arrested 4 times in Portland riots. The city released him three times. Now the feds are stepping in.
PORTLAND, OR – A man from Washington state was arrested four times within a four week period for rioting in Portland, which in three of those instances this man was bailed out or released. Now the federal government has stepped in, and has charged the man following a fourth arrest.
Washington State Man Charged with Civil Disorder After Assaulting Portland Police Officer: Kristopher Michael Donnelly of Kelso has been charged with civil disorder after assaulting a local police officer and being arrested during East Portland riots. https://t.co/1X73yXiNUH
— FBI Portland (@FBIPortland) September 4, 2020
Donnelly’s first documented arrest during the Portland riots occurred on August 5th, where authorities say that Donnelly was caught on film using a hammer to smash the windows of the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct.
The DOJ also noted that Donnelly was among those throwing objects at police and even assaulted an officer when police were trying to arrest him that evening.
Donnelly was booked into jail for charges of rioting, criminal mischief, second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $5,000 at the time, which was paid, and he was subsequently released.
But it didn’t take long for Donnelly to be out allegedly rioting again, as he was arrested again on August 8th. The Portland Police had declared a riot on the evening of the 8th outside of the Penumbra Kelly Building, which authorities say Donnelly was part and parcel to said riot.
After getting charged with second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering with a peace officer and rioting – the judge ordered Donnelly released without bail.
Moving on to the evening of August 22nd and the early morning hours of the 23rd, there was yet another riot in Portland.
Police officers and even a medic were under attack from rioters, where baseball sized rocks and bottles were hurled and fires were set. Once again – Donnelly was arrested for rioting, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest.
And he bailed out again according to records.
Then on August 30th, there was an unlawful assembly declared when officers were met with the likes of rocks and even eggs thrown at them.
Like clockwork, Donnelly was said to have been there and was arrested. This instance saw him charged with second-degree disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer.
Although, this time there was no bail for Donnelly.
On September 2nd, Donnelly was handed over to federal authorities in order for him to make an appearance for the charges levied federally in relation to his alleged criminal acts from August 5th and August 8th mentioned in the federal complaint.
The federal case against Donnelly was said to have been investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!