Modesto man sentenced for assaulting guard at Fresno Social Security office

A 33-year-old Modesto man on Monday was sentenced to eight years and nine months in federal prison for assaulting a security guard at a Social Security Administration office in downtown Fresno.

Matthew Faron Blair on October 14, 2014, went to the Fresno office to try to collect his Supplemental Security Income benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento.

Federal prosecutors said Blair became agitated when he was told his social security benefits had stopped but could be renewed by completing additional paperwork.

A security guard was called to escort Blair out of the office. As he was ushered out, Blair assaulted the guard, according to the prosecutors.

The guard suffered injuries on his head and his mouth, which required medical treatment. Authorities have said Blair punched the guard in the mouth and on the top of his head. Blair ran away but was captured in Stockton 12 days later.

Prosecutors said Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill considered Blair’s lengthy criminal history while determining the defendant’s prison sentence.

When Blair was indicted in the assault case in December 2014, prosecutors said the defendant faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Rosalio Ahumada: 209-578-2394, @ModBeeCourts