Update, Jan. 26: The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has identified the target of Mayor Ted Wheeler's pepper spray as Cary Cadonau, a local real estate lawyer and heir to the Alpenrose Dairy company. In a police report made public this afternoon, and first reported on by the Oregonian, PPB officer Matt Miller said he called Cadonau Monday afternoon.
"Mr. Cadonau told me he was an 'attorney' and was hesitant to discuss the matter with me," writes Miller. "He did say that he believed the Mayor should be held 'accountable' and that he'd captured the entire incident on video. When asked about what the mayor should be held accountable for Mr. Cadonau declined to expound further."
Miller also asked Cadonau why he allegedly tried to obtain the receipt from Wheeler's McMenamin's meal.
"Mr. Cadonau said he wanted the receipt because it would show how much alcohol the mayor consumed that evening," Miller wrote. Cadonau refused to hand the video he took of the encounter over to PPB.
Cadonau works as an attorney for the law firm Brownstein Rask. His bio on the firm's website reads: "Cary enjoys working to achieve creative resolutions to disputes while providing exceptional services."
Original Story, Jan. 24:
Mayor Ted Wheeler used pepper spray on a member of the public who confronted him while out to dinner Sunday evening.
According to a police report, Wheeler was leaving the Hillsdale McMenamins with former mayor Sam Adams—the latest hire to Wheeler's team—when he was allegedly confronted by a middle-aged white man.
In the report given to a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officer, Wheeler described being stopped by the unfamiliar man after leaving the restaurant around 8 pm. Wheeler said the man was filming him and accused him of violating COVID-19 restrictions by taking his mask off while seated at an outdoor tented restaurant table.
"I informed him the current Covid regulations allow people to take their mask off for the purpose of eating and drinking," Wheeler said, per the police report. "He then accused me of other things to which I indicated he did not understand the rules and should probably have a better understanding if he was going to confront people about them."
According to Wheeler, the man followed him to his car and continued to film him, standing about two feet away from Wheeler and not wearing a mask.
I'll let Wheeler explain what happened next:
"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.' He walked away from my car, the individual with me suggested that I leave for my safety, before I did so I threw a full water bottle towards him so that he could wash out his eyes with water."
Wheeler contacted PPB after leaving the scene. According to PPB, no suspect has been identified in this case.
Adams was also interviewed by a PPB officer about the incident, as he witnessed the entire event. According to the police report, Adams recorded audio of the confrontation on his phone, which will be submitted as evidence.
When asked by the Mercury about this incident during a press call Monday morning, Wheeler declined to comment.
"I filed a police report," Wheeler said. "And that’s all I can tell you right now.”
Tim Becker, a spokesperson for Wheeler, essentially said the same in an email to the Mercury this afternoon.
"Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler filed a police report relating to an incident that occurred Sunday evening," wrote Becker. "The Mayor is cooperating with the police investigation and encourages others involved to do the same."
Wheeler is no stranger to being confronted in public by his critics. Earlier this month, several people approached Wheeler while he was dining outside a Northwest Portland cafe, and one person allegedly "swatted" the mayor with their hand. According to PPB, that incident is still under investigation.
Wheeler referenced this encounter in his police report, telling the officer that he was "imminently concerned" for his personal safety, "as I had recently been physically accosted in a similar situation."