Man sentenced for shining laser at officer during Portland protest

Someone points a laser at a federal officer outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse during summer 2020 protests.

A Beaverton man who shined a high-powered green laser at a federal officer during a protest outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland last July was sentenced Wednesday to six months of home detention and three years of probation.

Andrew Steven Faulkner, 25, shined the laser at the eye and arm of a Federal Protective Service officer about 3 a.m. on July 5, according to prosecutors.

When federal officers approached him, he attempted to run but was arrested with the laser, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley R. Cadotte. The SDLaser 303 had a warning on it, cautioning against direct eye exposure, the prosecutor said.

Faulkner pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer, a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor and defense lawyer Tara J. Herivel jointly recommended the sentence. Faulkner will be on location monitoring during his home detention and also is required to complete 40 hours of community service.

He’s the fourth defendant to plead guilty in federal court in a protest-related prosecution and the second to be sentenced.

Of a total of 99 federal protest-related prosecutions in the past year, 50 were dismissed.

Thirty-two cases are pending with trial dates scheduled. Fourteen others are nearing resolution, according to Kevin Sonoff, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The pending prosecutions include defendants charged with civil disorder, destruction of government property, arson and assault on a federal officer.

The first defendant sentenced was Dakota Kurtis Means, a 20-year-old given time served and placed on one year of probation in January for intimidating a federal contract employee with a paintball gun and making threatening remarks outside the federal courthouse in late August. Means also pleaded guilty to one count of assault on a federal officer.

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