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Criminals used metal spikes to target the vehicles of federal law enforcement agents dispatched to Portland in the latest effort by violent protesters to damage federal property, according to a top Trump administration official.
Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), tweeted out a picture Saturday of dark spikes inside what looked like a federal law enforcement clear evidence bag.
“Early this morning, metal spikes were used by criminals in Portland to puncture the tires of CBP vehicles,” Morgan wrote on Twitter.
CBP officials did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for more information on the number of vehicles damaged and whether anyone has been charged.
The tweet comes as Morgan has been calling out “violent anarchists” rioting in the streets, damaging federal property and hurting officers in Portland, a hotbed of civil unrest after 58 consecutive nights of protests.
Local Democrats in Oregon want the federal forces out of the city, claiming their presence has fanned the flames of aggression, and they’ve accused President Trump of abusing his power for an election year political stunt.
A medic treats Black Lives Matter protester Lacey Wambalaba after exposure to chemical irritants deployed by federal officers at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Friday, July 24, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Since federal officers arrived in downtown Portland in early July, violent protests have largely been limited to a two block radius from the courthouse. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Morgan, however, said local leaders need to clamp down on the criminals and took to Twitter to illustrate how the situation has gotten out of hand in Portland.
He re-tweeted a video purporting to show rioters using power tools to saw through a fence protecting the federal courthouse in Portland. Morgan outlined another night of violence that included rioters throwing rocks, launching fireworks, attacking officers with mortar-style fireworks and lasers, and igniting a fire inside the fence, he said.
A federal officer fires crowd control munitions at Black Lives Matter protesters at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Friday, July 24, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Since federal officers arrived in downtown Portland in early July, violent protests have largely been limited to a two block radius from the courthouse. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
“These are not the actions of peaceful protesters,” Morgan wrote. “These are the actions of violent anarchists who are looking to harm federal law enforcement and federal property. This violence must end. Local leadership needs to step up, denounce these actions, and regain order.”
Overnight, a CBP officer sustained a chemical burn resulting from a substance thrown by rioters, another suffered a severe blow to his face from a hard object and a third is injured with a possible broken bone, Morgan said.
The latest injuries are on top the more than two dozen already sustained by federal agents.
In court papers filed Tuesday, lawyers for the government said 28 federal law enforcement officials have been injured during the rioting, including broken bones, hearing damage, eye damage and a dislocated shoulder.
There are 114 federal officers from the Federal Protective Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Marshals Service protecting federal facilities in downtown Portland.
FILE – In this July 21, 2020 file photo, a federal officer pushes back demonstrators at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland, Ore. Beyond the debate over the federal response to protests in Portland, there is the question of whether the Department of Homeland Security, with its specialized national security focus, is the right agency for a job that is traditionally the responsibility local police. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
“The most serious injury to an officer to date occurred when a protester wielding a two-pound sledgehammer struck an officer in the head and shoulder when the officer tried to prevent the protester from breaking down a door to the Hatfield Courthouse,” the U.S. attorneys said in court papers reviewed by Fox News.
Meanwhile, dozens of protesters and journalists have also been injured in the violent stand-offs with law enforcement. Among the most seriously wounded is Donavan La Bella, 26, who was hospitalized with a fractured skull when a deputy U.S. marshal shot him in the head with an impact munition while La Bella was holding a stereo over his head across the street from the courthouse, the Oregonian reported.
Federal officers pepper-sprayed and used batons to beat another protester, Christopher David, a 53-year-old Navy veteran, as he tried to speak to them, the paper said.