Wired reports that Homeland Security agents recently contacted a member of Occupy Boston to discuss one of the stranger incidents from OB's tenure in Dewey Square.
As first reported by the Phoenix's Chris Faraone, in the bleary early-morning hours of December 10 -- just an hour or so before Boston Police raided the Dewey Square tent city, ending the longest-running #OWS encampment in the country -- an unidentified man either smacked or punched Robin Jacks in the face, grabbed her iPhone, and took off. The assailant was pursued by more than a dozen Occupiers and arrested shortly thereafter by the police. Jacks is among the most well-known peronalities in Occupy Boston and is one of its most dedicated Twitter chroniclers -- often helming the official live-tweet account as well as her personal account, @caulkthewagon (the latter is so identified with the movement that even Boston police brass have admitted to following it).
As Faraone reported that morning:
When I got back to Dewey
Square . . . a female member of the media team had
been assaulted by a never-seen-before stranger in a dark suit. It was an
extraordinarily strange occurrence by all accounts. The guy simply
showed up, talked a bunch of shit, tried to snatch a phone, slapped the
camp Twitter pilot, and tried to run off before being arrested.
According to Wired:
“When [the attacker] was getting into the (police) car he alternated between saying
‘I’m a UMass (University of Massachusetts) student!’ and ‘I’m a federal
agent!’,” Jacks said, adding she thought it sounded hilarious at the
time. Many of the occupiers, and possibly a few police, laughed at
Wired identifies the perp, Adam L. Marshall, 29, as a federal air marshall -- the armed undercover guards on airplanes -- and that fact was evidently confirmed by the Homeland Security agents who spoke with Jacks by phone this week. Jacks later met with an internal affairs investigator from the TSA. However, the TSA "would not confirm to Wired Marshall’s employment status or his role within the Federal Air Marshal Service."
Jacks told the magazine that on the morning of December 10 she first ran into Marshall in the lobby of South Station, where she and several Occupy women had gone in search of a bathroom. According to Wired:
“Maybe a half an hour or so later he was standing in the middle of
camp,” said Leah Filler, an occupier who was with Jacks. Jacks says she
then saw him arguing with some of the occupy musicians, and asked him to
leave. Instead of leaving, he called Jacks and her companions
prostitutes. Jacks began filming him with her phone, and Marshall
responded by grabbing Jacks’ phone, hitting her twice, and running,
according to Jacks and the police report.
In this video, Jacks can be seen confronting the assailant just before he grabs her phone: