Charges against one of the men involved in the alleged assault of a protester at a July 11 racial justice rally in downtown Bend have been upgraded by the Deschutes County district attorney.
Robert John Thompson is now charged with unlawful use of a weapon for allegedly pointing a firearm at a man during a dispute near a protest organized by the Central Oregon Peacekeepers. The Bend Police Department originally cited Thompson with carrying a concealed weapon, which is no longer alleged.
Thompson was driving his truck past the rally at the corner of NW Wall Street and NW Greenwood Avenue when either he or his passenger, Darrell Goddard, yelled a “homophobic epithet” at the protesters, according to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.
Protester Andrew Heller biked after the truck and while stopped at a light several blocks away, asked them “why they’d yelled what they yelled,” said District Attorney John Hummel.
Goddard, 37, allegedly responded by opening his door into Heller, knocking Heller off his bike and into another car. The men in the truck got out and Goddard allegedly punched Heller while Heller was on the ground. Thompson allegedly pointed a gun at Heller.
Reached Thursday, Heller declined to comment.
“I’ve decided that I’m going to keep my comments to myself for the time being,” he wrote in an email.
Goddard is charged with fourth-degree assault and second-degree criminal mischief.
Thompson is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and menacing.
Thompson and Goddard are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 8 in Deschutes County Circuit Court. Neither is yet represented by an attorney, according to court documents.
It’s the third instance of Hummel charging people for allegedly attacking or harassing protesters since the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd’s death sparked racial justice and anti-police brutality rallies worldwide.
David Hart is accused of four counts of reckless endangerment and one of fourth-degree assault for allegedly using his Jeep to disperse protesters at a June 6 Black Lives Matter protest near the Box Factory shopping center.
Dylan Freville is charged with two counts of harassment for spewing diesel exhaust from his truck into a crowd of protesters at a May 30 event at the corner of NW Wall Street and NW Newport Avenue.