Portland Mayor Pepper Sprays Man Who Harassed Him Over COVID Policies
By Bill Galluccio
January 26, 2021
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler pepper-sprayed an angry man who confronted him over the city's coronavirus policies. Wheeler was outside of a restaurant when the maskless man got in his face and started screaming at him.
"He had no face mask on and got within a foot or two of my face while he was videoing me," Wheeler told the police.
The man accused Wheeler of violating his own policies by removing his mask while eating inside the restaurant.
"I became imminently concerned for my personal safety, as I had recently been physically accosted in a similar situation," Wheeler said.
Wheeler then told the man that if he did not back away, he would pepper spray him. When the man refused to back down, Wheeler pepper-sprayed him in the face.
Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams witnessed the altercation and managed to record audio on his cell phone. In the clip, which was obtained by Willamette Week, the man can be heard saying "thanks for ruining our city" just before Wheeler sprayed him.
"You just pepper-sprayed me," the man then says.
"You are one foot away from me," Wheeler replies. "You are not six feet away."
Authorities have not identified the man and said they did not receive any other complaints about the incident.
Photo: Getty Images