A Portland, Oregon, man says he and his wife tried to enjoy a date night out on the town over the weekend, only to be surrounded by a mob and assaulted because he was wearing a pro-Donald Trump hat.
Now, two alleged perpetrators are being charged with third-degree assault in relation to the incident.
Luke Lenzner and his wife arrived at Growler’s Taproom in Portland early Saturday morning, not long after midnight. Lenzner was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat because he supports Trump.
“I want to make America great again,” Lenzner told KATU.
He said they went up to the bar for a drink, but were told the establishment was closing for the night. That’s when 23-year-old Adebisi Okuneye allegedly took issue with his hat.
“The lady asked me, ‘Is that a MAGA hat?’ I pointed at the top of my hat and said, ‘Yes it is,’” Lenzner recalled to KATU.
“Then the next thing I know she’s running around the corner attacking me trying to take my hat off,” he added. “People surrounded, started surrounding me and my wife and calling my wife a whole bunch of names — ‘racist b—-,’ pardon my language. But yeah, ‘white trash’ and they’re calling me a racist person.”
“They don’t even know me. I’m not racist whatsoever. And next thing I know when I have all these people around me, I get sucker-punched by the guy with the beard right in the nose.”
The “guy with the beard” was 22-year-old Leopold Hauser, though he denies Lenzner’s claims.
Lenzner further detailed what he says happened in an interview with KPTV.
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“I got mobbed by everybody that was in that bar outside. People came from the inside out — just circled me and my wife,” he said. “I’m just trying to get through, trying to stop the person from hitting me, from taking my hat, and then I get sucker-punched.”
By the time police arrived, Okuneye and Hauser were gone, though Lenzner had taken down a license plate number, and both suspects were soon arrested.
However, witnesses told KPTV that Lenzner was actually the one who started it all.
“Hauser stated that he disagreed with the political statement of the hat and that they were ‘mean mugging’ victim,” a prosecutor said, according to a probable cause affidavit. “Mean mugging,” according to KPTV, “means giving a person a dirty look.”
“Hauser said the victim noticed this and asked them if they liked the hat and a verbal argument started,” the affidavit adds.
“Hauser stated that victim and defendant Okuneye were arguing and getting in each other’s faces, that victim pushed defendant Okuneye back, that he got in between the two to stop the fighting, that the victim took a fighting stance, and that arms were flying everywhere.
“Defendant Okuneye stated the victim came out of the bar and said, ‘B—- do you like my hat.’ She stated that a verbal argument occurred, that victim pushed him back, that defendant Hauser pulled her back, and did not know who punched victim.”
Lenzner’s wife, meanwhile, was reportedly “curious” to see what would happen if her husband wore a MAGA hat in public.
“Victim’s wife stated that she was curious how people in Portland would treat her husband since he wore his ‘Make America Great Again’ hat,” the affidavit says. “She proposed that her husband wear the hat throughout the night so she can see how people treat him. She stated that she and her husband walked to multiple bars in Portland.”
Lenzner has denied these claims and says he didn’t throw a punch at any point in the altercation.
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