Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was confronted by angry leftists Wednesday during an incident in which Wheeler was reportedly struck by one of the disrupters.
Spokesman for the mayor Jim Middaugh said in a statement that Wednesday’s encounter took place while Wheeler and a companion were seated in the outdoor dining area of a Portland restaurant, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported.
At first, hecklers contented themselves with hurling obscenities at the mayor, which he tried to ignore, Middaugh said.
However, the group in time “pushed their way past restaurant employees” and confronted Wheeler, the spokesman added. The mayor asked his antagonists to leave.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was accosted and assaulted by several individuals while Wheeler was enjoying dinner at a local restaurant in the Nobo Hill neighborhood in Portland Wednesday night.
— PT News Network (@PTNewsnetwork) January 7, 2021
“At that point, one member of the group started swatting at the Mayor and made physical contact with him,” Middaugh continued.
A profanity-filled video of the incident posted to Twitter does not show the reported contact, but does include some of the heckling.
WARNING: The following videos contain vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive.
Fvck Ted Wheeler! The Portland Police Bureau is the most VIOLENT department in the country! pic.twitter.com/81Y5wAPGGQ
— Cozca Ītzpāpālōtl (@cozca503) January 7, 2021
“You assaulted me. You just assaulted me,” a voice appearing to belong to Wheeler said at one point in another video.
While talking to a member of the group harassing him, in a separate video, Wheeler asked the individual how old he was and told him to grow up. The mayor can be seen reaching for his phone toward the end of the video to photograph the group harassing him.
“You comfortable, Tevis?” ?
Watch how Ted tries to age-check the unhappy citizen.
This is how the mayor of Portland gets treated when he leaves his hidey-holes. pic.twitter.com/8IJASJ35Ge
— All-Time Blocks Leader ?? (@MacSmiff) January 7, 2021
“You are going to be made to feel like the scum you are,” one person in the group yelled at the mayor.
The group eventually acceded to requests from the restaurant staff to leave.
Oregon Live identified the individual Wheeler said struck him as Tracy Molina, who the outlet called “a prominent social justice activist and regular participant in the city’s protests against police violence and systemic racism.”
Assault is a crime, even assault against a mayor like @tedwheeler (D-OR) who has been stupid about riots. Citizens can hope that Wheeler will begin to grasp that encouraging this infantile behavior by spoiled progressive brats has bad consequences.https://t.co/sKFbvtRFAz
— James Higgins (@JamesEHiggins) January 8, 2021
Middaugh said Wheeler does not plan to file charges, however, and labeled the confrontation just “part of the job.”
“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,” Middaugh said.
“The Mayor will continue to support local restaurants and businesses as often as he can. He urges others to do the same.”
Wheeler has already seen his fair share of angry, violent protesters.
Portland has experienced regular antifa-led rioting for months. Last week, following two successive nights of property damage caused by protesters, Wheeler indicated he would take a stronger stand against the vandalism and get tougher on antifa.
“My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical antifa and anarchists,” he said.
“In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and to push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”
“It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community and to take more risks in fighting lawlessness,” Wheeler continued.
According to The Oregonian/Oregon Live, however, the proposed actions Wheeler discussed were not included in the city’s requests to state lawmakers for legislative action this year.
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