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The mayor of Portland, Oregon, pepper-sprayed a maskless resident who confronted him about the city’s Covid-19 rules after a meal out.
Ted Wheeler, the Democratic mayor since 2016, had been dining with a former mayor, Sam Adams, when the two were confronted by a man carrying a video camera on Sunday evening outside a local pub, according to a police report obtained by Oregon Live.
The man, described by Wheeler and Adams as middle-aged, accused the pair of dining without masks, according to the report. Wheeler reportedly told the man the pair were dining in a tented area and so did not need to cover their faces under current regulations.
The man closely followed the mayor as he walked to his car, according to the report.
“He had no face mask on and got within a foot or two of my face while he was videoing me,” Wheeler told police. “I became imminently concerned for my personal safety.”
He added: “I clearly informed him that he needed to back off. He did not do so I informed him that I was carrying pepper spray and that I would use it if he did not back off. He remained at close distance, I pulled out my pepper spray and I sprayed him in the eyes.”
The mayor gave the man a bottle of water to rinse his face, according to the report.
Wheeler told police he did not recognize the man, who he and Adams both described as in his 40s and wearing dark clothing and glasses, the police report said.
A spokesman for Wheeler’s office told Oregon Live the mayor continued to cooperate with the police investigation.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Portland mayor pepper-sprays maskless man after Covid rules confrontation | Portland