Two Proud Boys remain jailed on protest-related charges
Two well-known members of the far-right Proud Boys are in jail on charges related to fights with counter-protesters in Portland.
Tusitala "Tiny" Toese was sentenced to six months in jail on Tuesday, Oct. 20, for violating his probation. Toese pleaded guilty to a 2018 assault charge in January. As a result, he was put on probation and banned from any protests in Multnomah County for two years.
Toese was then arrested in August and accused of violating the terms of his probation numerous times. He was arrested after participated in a right-wing rally in August in downtown Portland that went awry after being disrupted by counter-protesters. Toese was not arrested at the time over concerns about officer safety, according to Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell.
Earlier in the summer, Toese was also accused of being involved in an assault in the area of Seattle known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest or "CHOP."
On Oct. 19, a Multnomah County judge found Toese "in willful violation of [his] probation" by failing to abide by his probation officer's directive, leaving the state without permission, failing to report as required, changing residence without permission, participating in a rally and failing to pay fines/fees, according to the District Attorney's office.
Toese has been in jail since Sept. 1, according to the Multnomah County Jail roster. He will get credit for time served.
The state sought the maximum sentence, which would have been 12 months in jail, according to the DA's office.
Proud Boy member Alan Swinney also remains in jail after a Multnomah County judge denied his motion for release.
Swinney, 50, has pleaded not guilty to 12 total charges, including assault, attempted assault, unlawful use of a weapon, pointing a firearm at another person and unlawful use of mace. Swinney is a self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys and has the words "Proud Boy" tattooed on his forearm, according to prosecutors.
The indictment alleges Swinney fired a paintball gun at another person during a Portland protest on Aug. 15, causing physical harm. He is also accused of using mace or a similar substance against another person and attempting to assault others on the same day.
Swinney used the same substance while attending a pro-Trump rally in Portland on Aug. 22, according to prosecutors. The same day, Swinney allegedly aimed a real gun into the crowd as well.
Police arrested Swinney on Sept. 30, weeks after the indictment was issued. His bail was set at $534,000, an amount his lawyers sought to reduce.
Prosecutors, though, argued Swinney poses a safety risk to the community, pointing to his repeatedly attending protests while armed, as well as social media posts in which Swinney is accused of writing things like "You're not going to tell me how I can defend myself" and "All you lefty judges, DAs, city council, and mayors can get bent."
In their motion opposing Swinney's release, prosecutors wrote:
"Defendant advocates for violence, seeks out conflict, has access to firearms and has explicitly stated that he will not abide by court orders. Defendant has engaged in acts of violence around the United States and believes that he is engaged in a Civil War. Further, the defendant is widely known by the people who oppose his set of beliefs and his release may lead to additional homicides on both sides of the ideological spectrum."
Swinney moved to Oregon from Texas within the past year, according to court documents, and doesn't have gainful employment or other ties to Portland. Prosecutors argued that could make him a flight risk.
Swinney's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 13. He is also being sued for $250,000 after allegedly shooting a woman in the chest with a paintball gun during the Aug. 22 rally.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their stories can be found at www.koin.com.
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