Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was swatted in the shoulder Wednesday evening, Jan. 6, while out to dinner at a restaurant in the Nob Hill neighborhood, according to the mayor's office.
Wheeler was five minutes into a dinner at Cafe Nell with a friend when a small crowd began yelling obscenities at him and soon pushed their way into the outdoor tented area where he was seated, according to Jim Middaugh, the mayor's communications director, who was briefed by the mayor on the incident.
Middaugh said a woman started swatting at the mayor after he asked them to leave. The mayor was not injured and does not plan to press charges.
Wheeler left the restaurant, taking his food to go.
"You comfortable, Tevis?" ðŸ¤£— All-Time Blocks Leader ðŸðŸ (@MacSmiff) January 7, 2021
Watch how Ted tries to age-check the unhappy citizen.
This is how the mayor of Portland gets treated when he leaves his hidey-holes. pic.twitter.com/8IJASJ35Ge
Sergeant Kevin Allen, a spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau, originally described the interaction as a "punch." Allen said the assault occurred around 8:30 p.m. No injuries were reported and the suspect, who has not yet been identified, left, according to the police. No arrests were made.
Videos of the incident were uploaded to social media by Tracy Molina and Mac Smiff, though it's unclear if they were present at the scene. Another person who appeared to be dining with the mayor covered their face with a napkin.
"You are going to be made to feel like the scum you are," one protester yelled. "F--- you, f--- you, shame on you."
Middaugh wrote in a statement the mayor is not deterred.
"The mayor is committed to supporting local businesses and wants others to do the same," wrote Middaugh in a statement. "Given the tenor of political discourse nationally and locally, it's not unusual for people to confront the mayor and other elected officials in public. It's part of the job."
This isn't the first time the mayor has been seen dining out — with another guest who remains unknown — at Cafe Nell. Similar footage was uploaded to social media on Dec. 11, and local activists even created a separate Twitter account to track the mayor's movements.
OPB is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Find their story here. The Tribune's Zane Sparling contributed reporting.
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