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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Modesto Man Charged With Assaulting Federal Security Guard

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Matthew Faron Blair, 30, of Modesto, charging him with assaulting a security guard assigned to protect a Social Security Administration office in Fresno, Calif., United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on October 14, 2014, Blair went to the Social Security Administration office in Fresno to attempt to collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. He was advised that his benefits had stopped, but could be renewed by completing additional paperwork. Blair became agitated, and a security guard was called to escort him of the office. As the guard attempted to escort Blair out of the office, Blair allegedly punched the guard in the mouth and on the top of his head as he dropped to the ground. Blair then fled and was apprehended 12 days later. The guard suffered serious bodily injury requiring medical treatment.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Protective Services with assistance from the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Adult Parole Division; and the Stockton Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Blair faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 8, 2015