Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler got into a scuffle Sunday night with a man as he was leaving a pub. Wheeler pepper-sprayed the man because he got confrontational and in his face over the mayor “sitting in a restaurant without a mask.” The politico then threw a bottle of water at the man as he was driving away so he could wash his face. The Democrat said he feared for his own “personal safety.”
According to a filed police report, Wheeler claims he was seated in a tent outside McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House with former one-term Portland Mayor Sam Adams (D), and as the pair got up to leave at about 8 p.m., an upset middle-aged white man approached Wheeler. It got tense after that.
The unknown man “appeared to be videoing with a cellphone,” Wheeler told officers, and he angrily accused him of “sitting in a restaurant without a mask.” Wheeler attempted to explain to the man that people are allowed to sit in restaurants without a mask when they are eating and drinking. That did not appease the gentleman and he took exception to what he viewed as a violation of COVID rules.
“He then accused me of other things to which I indicated he did not understand the rules and should probably have a better understanding if he was going to confront people about them,” Wheeler claimed in his statement.
The establishment is located in Multnomah County where, according to the county’s provisions, “outdoor dining is allowed as long as restaurants operate below capacity.”
The man then proceeded to allegedly follow Wheeler to his car while videoing him.
Wheeler told the police, “I became imminently concerned for my personal safety, as I had recently been physically accosted in a similar situation. In addition, I was concerned about contracting COVID given that he was right in my face that he was not wearing a face mask.”
From police report written by Sgt Peter Simpson, after receiving call from Robert King, Wheeler’s advisor on public safety. Incident occurred about 9 pm. Sun: pic.twitter.com/RjAt9Fp6AJ
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) January 25, 2021
The mayor said he warned the man that he had pepper-spray on him and threatened to “use it if he did not back off.”
The man apparently refused to “back off.” Wheeler then sprayed the man in the eyes. Before driving away, the mayor says he “threw a full water bottle toward” the man “so that he could wash out his eyes with water.” Wheeler stated that after the incident the man “seemed surprised and backed off” and added that he “made a comment to the effect of, ‘I can’t believe you just pepper-sprayed me.’”
Neither Wheeler nor Adams knew who the man was.
A spokesman for Wheeler addressed the incident, “The mayor is cooperating with the police investigation and encourages others involved to do the same.”
This isn’t the only time Wheeler has gotten into it with someone. Earlier this month, Wheeler was screamed at and physically assaulted by a group of left-wing activists who yelled obscenities at him while he was dining outdoors at a different Portland establishment. In that altercation, he was allegedly ‘swatted’.
Wheeler was also forced to move to a different residence after the windows in his condominium were smashed and a fire was set in his building. Leftist protesters were reportedly upset with the mayor’s perceived lack of action concerning the police.
Portland mayor says he’s moving out of his $840K condo after rioters destroyed the building https://t.co/lfvz69ID6y
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 2, 2020
Tim Becker, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, commented at the time, “Given the tenor of political discourse nationally and locally, it’s not unusual for people to confront the mayor and other elected officials in public. It’s part of the job.”
He continued, “The mayor will continue to support local restaurants and businesses as often as he can. He urges others to do the same.”
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