Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler will get increased security after recent threats and incidents, including one where he pepper sprayed a man who confronted him outside a restaurant on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 24.
Wheeler, like previous Portland mayors, has had a security detail since he took office. The level of protection has varied but will now be increased, his office said in a statement.
"Like previous Portland mayors, Mayor Wheeler has a security detail that has been in place since he took office in 2017. The level of protection provided is determined by a variety of factors including the nature of the issues he and his colleagues on the Portland City Council are working on, his visibility and accessibility in public spaces, his travel needs and his personal preferences. Because of recent threats and incidents where people have aggressively accosted the Mayor, increased security measures have been implemented. Additional security options for Council members have also been implemented," the statement said
In the most recent incident, Wheeler and former mayor Sam Adams were leaving the Hillsdale McMenamin's pub around 8 p.m. Sunday when they said they were approached by a middle-aged white man who told them he had taken photos of Wheeler while he was inside the restaurant's tent, according to the Portland Police Bureau report filed by Wheeler. The man accused Wheeler of violating COVID-19 rules by not wearing a mask in the restaurant.
In the report, Wheeler said the man was not wearing a mask and approached him closely at his car. Wheeler said he warned the man he would pepper spray him if he did not back off, then did so when the confrontation continued. Adams supported Wheeler's account in the report.
The man has not been identified. The report describes him as being in his 40s, shorter than 6-feet tallå with a medium build, wearing a dark-colored and heavy jacket, and was possibly wearing glasses.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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