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Man accused of firing at federal courthouse in Portland

January 12, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man has been accused of firing a gun at the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, two days after he was arrested at the state Capitol in Salem in a trespassing case.

Cody Melby of Beavercreek pleaded not guilty Monday in federal court in Portland to misdemeanor depredation of government property, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

On Friday evening, Melby jumped over a fence at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse and fired several rounds at the building with a handgun, according to the federal complaint.

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A security officer saw him on a video system walking inside the fenced-in area in front of the courthouse, the federal complaint says. Two security officers went outside where Melby told the officers he had a gun and was arrested.

They removed a loaded 9mm Glock pistol, which had a round in the chamber, from a holster on Melby’s belt, according to Federal Protective Services agent John Dean.

According to an affidavit, Melby said he was there, “Because I am tired of all the (expletive) you guys have to take.”

The 39-year-old U.S. Army veteran has a YouTube channel with videos in support of baseless “Stop the Steal” election rhetoric and other QAnon conspiracy theories, according to the complaint.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, authorities at the federal courthouse in Portland found five spent 9mm bullet casings, three spent bullets, three bullet holes in plywood atop the building’s stone columns, along with damage near the building’s main entrance.

Melby told the security officers that he had been firing his gun and had been “in front of the courthouse for 20 minutes and no one came out, so I fired several times into the ground,” according to the complaint.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Maloney said in court that Melby was on pretrial release for a state charge from last week, when he was accused of trying to get into the closed state Capitol. He was arrested on suspicion of trespassing with a firearm. Melby posted $500 bond in Marion County Circuit Court and was released that day.

Maloney said the offense at federal courthouse represented a “serious escalation” since the Salem arrest. The prosecutor said Melby has a mental illness and hasn’t been taking his medication. Court records indicate he has a post traumatic stress disorder.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman ordered Melby to remain in custody pending trial. It wasn’t immediately known if Melby has a lawyer to comment for him.

Additionally Monday, the Multnomah County district attorney filed felony allegations against Melby stemming from the same alleged conduct outside the federal courthouse.