Man pepper sprayed by Wheeler apologizes
The man who was pepper-sprayed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Sunday night, Jan. 24, apologized to Wheeler on Wednesday and said he was remorseful.
Wheeler said he accepted the apology and considers the matter closed.
Cary Cadonau, who is an attorney and a member of the family that founded the Alpenrose Dairy in southwest Portland, confronted Wheeler outside the Hillsdale McMenamins while the mayor was with former mayor Sam Adams.
Wheeler and Adams had been dining in a tented area and were walking to their cars when Cadonau approached, unmasked, and got close to the mayor's face while filming with his phone, according to police reports.
Wheeler said the man stood within one or two feet of him and Wheeler became concerned for his safety and contracting COVID-19. Wheeler told the man to "back off" and that he was carrying pepper spray, which he would use if necessary. When the man did not listen, the mayor said he sprayed him in the eyes.
The mayor filed a police report.
In a statement released shortly after 6 p.m. on Jan. 27, Cadonau said he was sorry. His full statement:
"I am remorseful for my decision to confront Mayor Wheeler on Sunday, Jan. 24, and I am sorry that he felt the need to use pepper spray.
"I cherish Portland and our local community and recognize that Mayor Wheeler has a very difficult job.
"I have contacted Mayor Wheeler's office to request an opportunity to amicably resolve this matter.
"I would also like to apologize to my law partners for my conduct."
In his response, wheeler said, "I want to acknowledge and appreciate Mr. Cadonau's apology. I consider the matter closed.
"I'm hopeful that this will be a catalyst for all of us to return to healthy, respectful civic dialogue. Our city and our nation are going through challenging and stressful times, and there is great passion about the need create a different and better future. We must all remember that we have a shared desire for positive change, even if we may disagree about the best ways to go about it. It's important for all of us to reflect on the need for urgent change, and to remember that respect and safety are the foundation for creating and sustaining it."
A previous Portland Tribune story on the incident can be found here.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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