Portland mayor pepper sprays Alpenrose dairy heir filming him
Mayor Ted Wheeler on Sunday evening pepper-sprayed a man who was making a video of him, telling police later that the man was maskless and would not back away.
Asked about the incident at a press conference Monday morning, Wheeler summarized the incident, and the Portland Police Bureau disclosed a police report about it later in the day.
In an update to the police report, officers identified the man who was pepper sprayed as Cary Cadonau, a real estate, business litigation, family law, personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.
Contacted by the Portland Tribune, Cadonau said he was not yet ready to speak about the incident, but is working with a public relations specialist and may have something to say later.
Cadonau is also an heir to the Alpenrose dairy and has been involved in a legal dispute over the milk business' future.
Wheeler was leaving the Hillsdale McMenamin's restaurant with former Mayor Sam Adams at the time of the incident.
The report said Wheeler called Sgt. Peter Simpson at around 9 p.m. and said that one hour earlier, outside the restaurant, a man was making a video recording of the two men and would not back away while accusing Wheeler of improperly taking his mask off while meeting with Adams.
"I was in the tented area of a restaurant sitting at a table, and I informed him the current COVID regulations allow people to take their mask off for the purpose of eating and drinking," Wheeler said, 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. I became imminently concerned for my personal safety, as I had recently been physically accosted in a similar situation.
"In addition, I was concerned about contracting COVID, given that he was right in my face, that he was not wearing a face mask. I believe that I had taken my face mask off as I attempted to enter the car, but I don't specifically remember.
"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. He seemed surprised, and backed off. He made a comment like 'I can't believe you just pepper sprayed me.'"
Wheeler said Adams suggested the mayor leave for his own safety, and " before I did so I threw a full water bottle towards him so that he could wash out his eyes with water. I left the scene. Immediately thereafter, I notified my chief of staff and deputy chief of staff of the situation."
According to the police report, the matter is under investigation.
Cardonau was identified after he reportedly returned to the restaurant the next day and asked staff for a copy of Wheeler's bill. In an interview with police, Cardonau said he wanted to know how much the mayor had to drink that night. Staff did not release that information. Cardonau declined to comment further to police.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.