Portland OR July 8 2017 A 47-year-old man who was smoking marijuana on the steps of Portland's Pioneer Courthouse and disregarded directions to leave is accused of punching two court security officers and is now in federal custody.
Howard Miller Peter made his first appearance Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Portland on allegations of assault.
Peter had approached the courthouse about 12:30 p.m. Friday, started smoking marijuana on the front steps off Southwest Sixth Avenue and stared at two security officers at their posts at the top of the steps by the entrance, special agent David Miller of the Federal Protective Service wrote in a complaint.
Officer Barry Oseross advised Peter that he wasn't allowed to smoke marijuana on federal property and couldn't block the courthouse entrance, according to the complaint. Peter was given several verbal warnings before a security officer escorted Peter away, Miller wrote in the complaint.
Peter left but returned and walked up the steps again. He was given at least five warnings to leave, and as he was about to be escorted away, he "became combative,'' knocked the eyeglasses off of Oseross and punched him in the face and neck with closed fists, the complaint said.
Security officer Jon Grable struck Peter, "delivering a distracting strike,'' when he saw Peter trying to grab his colleague's face again, Miller wrote.
Several other security officers then moved in to handcuff Peter, who kept thrashing around, the complaint said. He was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital for an evaluation. While waiting, Peter walked up to a federal inspector keeping watch on him, and asked, "Would you like to die now or should I kill you slowly?'' according to the complaint.
After Peter was cleared to be taken to jail, he told an officer who was driving him to the Multnomah County Detention Center, "I really hate uniformed police officers. They really make me uncomfortable,'' the agent wrote in the complaint.
Oseross' eyeglasses were broken, his tie was ripped and he received several bruises to his nose, forehead and upper lip and neck, according to the complaint. He went to a local urgent care facility for treatment and was told he had sustained a strained tendon and ligament during the struggle.
The complaint alleges Peter assaulted and interfered with officers Oseross and Barrett Salvato.
Peter remains in custody at the downtown Portland jail on a U.S. marshal's hold. He was ordered to be detained as a flight risk and danger to the public.