Clearwater Man Convicted Of Threatening A Court Security Officer With A Baseball Bat
Orlando, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Jay Paul Porton (67, Clearwater) guilty of assault on a federal officer. He faces a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 29, 2015. Porton was indicted on April 15, 2015.
According to evidence presented at trial, Porton, a pro se plaintiff in a civil case, was a regular visitor to the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in Tampa. On March 19, 2015, the presiding judge ruled against Porton in his civil case. On the morning of April 1, 2015, Porton approached the courthouse carrying a small baseball bat. A Court Security Officer (CSO) confronted Porton at the main entrance of the courthouse and ordered him to put the bat down. As the CSO approached, Porton said, “batter up,” tapped the bat on the ground, and assumed a batting stance. When then CSO was approximately 7-10 feet away, Porton swung the T-ball bat in the CSO’s direction. The CSO then put his hand on his gun, and Porton put the bat down. Other officers came to assist and placed Porton under arrest.
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vincent S. Chiu and Tiffany L. Cummins.