MEDFORD, Ore. — A Jackson County man says today he is “not guilty” of five criminal charges stemming from a Black Lives Matter protest at the beginning of June.
Christopher Ryan Biggs entered the plea during an arraignment hearing on Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Cohen is prosecuting the case. He says Biggs faces five charges related to "using his truck as a weapon" among a June 1 protest in Medford.
According to a probable cause statement filed by the arresting officer from Medford Police, Biggs was seen driving in a large black pickup truck in downtown Medford while protesters marched from a demonstration near the courthouse. The officer said that Biggs yelled a homophobic slur at protesters while driving in the area, minutes before he reappeared and accelerated through a group in roadway.
The officer's statement said that at least one man appeared injured immediately following the incident, with blood visible on his hand.
When Biggs was stopped at the scene, he reportedly told officers that he was downtown looking for his daughter. He claimed that he only drove through the protesters when they began hitting his truck and trying to get inside.
"I have reviewed many videos and do not recall seeing anyone attempting to get inside," the officer wrote. "Biggs is seen accelerating at a high rate to go around another truck through a large crowd of people."
Biggs faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon, bias crime in the first degree, menacing, and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.
At the hearing, Biggs indicated that he would represent himself in court. Judge Laura Cromwell advised Biggs that he must have legal counsel or proceed to fully represent himself by an October 11 appearance in preparation for trial or a plea agreement.