State Watch

Portland mayor pepper-sprays man after confrontation at restaurant

Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) reportedly pepper-sprayed a man who accosted him over the city’s COVID-19 guidelines outside of a restaurant on Sunday.

A police report first reported by The Oregonian indicated that Wheeler was followed to his car by a man who was recording him on a cellphone and harassing him about an alleged violation of the city’s rules.

Wheeler told police that he attempted to respond to the man by explaining that city coronavirus restrictions allow residents to be maskless while eating or drinking at a restaurant and warned him that he would be pepper-sprayed if he did not back off — which he did not do, according to the report. 

Wheeler’s office did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Officials around the country have been targeted for both actual and perceived violations of their own guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19; in nearby California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) faces a recall campaign in part due to his apparent violation of COVID-19 safety measures for a gathering at the expensive French Laundry restaurant.

Tags California Coronavirus coronavirus restrictions Gavin Newsom Oregon Portland ted wheeler

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