One of the far-right brawlers involved in the May 1, 2019 assault on patrons of a Portland cidery has pled guilty on three related criminal charges in exchange for five-year probation and other restrictions.
Ian Kramer was one of the several men affiliated with Patriot Prayer, the far-right Vancouver extremist group, that visited the former Northeast Portland bar Cider Riot on May 1, intent on confronting anti-fascist activists who regularly frequented the establishment. Videos capture Kramer and others as they approach the bar's outdoor patio and shout insults at patrons, before throwing projectiles at the group. The confrontation escalated into an all-out street brawl between the right-wingers and antifa bar patrons. Kramer allegedly struck a woman with a baton so forcefully that she was knocked unconscious and sustained a vertebrae fracture. Police didn't arrive on the scene for over an hour.
Kramer was arrested three months after the incident, along with five other right-wing extremists in attendance—including Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson. At the time, Kramer faced six charges: second-degree assault, attempted second-degree assault, two counts of unlawfully using a weapon, disorderly conduct, and unlawful use of mace.
Kramer served one year behind bars, and was released in August 2020 after the court lowered his bail due to COVID's impact on the court system.
Kramer pled guilty to just three of his initial charges in the agreement with the Multnomah County District Attorney's office announced Friday: One count of riot, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of unlawfully using a weapon.
A press release from the DA's office clarifies: "The conviction means that Kramer admits that on May 1, 2019 he, along with five or more others, engaged in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby intentionally or recklessly created a grave risk of causing public alarm, and that he used an asp baton to cause physical injury to another person."
The plea deal also sticks Kramer with 20 months of jail time (which includes the 12 months already served) and five years of probation. The probation agreement bans Kramer from participating in any demonstration that is declared an unlawful assembly or riot by law enforcement. Kramer is also prohibited from "riotous, disorderly, violent, or any other criminal conduct during any other lawful march, protest, demonstration or similar event."
Heather Clark, the woman Kramer struck with his baton on May 1, shared an impact statement during Kramer's Thursday hearing.
"When I heard about this plea deal, I immediately felt my heart drop into my stomach," Clark said. "It didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t seem fair."
But, Clark said, as someone who doesn't support punishing people through prolonged incarceration, she told Kramer to consider the decision a second chance.
"You have been given a gift of righting your wrongs outside of a prison cell," Clark said. "While my beliefs are being reflected in this current situation, that does not mean I feel a sense of peace or justice from a personal perspective."
She continued: "The best outcome I can see for this situation is that you lean into this as a massive learning opportunity and that you're in an incredible position to disrupt toxic behaviors."
Kramer isn't the first in the accused group to reach a plea deal with the DA's office. In January 2020, Matthew "Deme" Cooper and Chris Ponte reached plea agreements with the Multnomah County District Attorney's office for riot charges related to the May 1 incident. Like Kramer, both Cooper and Ponte are restricted from engaging in unsanctioned protests in Multnomah County during their three-year probations.
Russell Schultz, Mackenzie Lewis, and Gibson are still awaiting trial for various riot and assault charges.
All six men are named in a separate civil lawsuit filed by Cider Riot's former owner Abe Goldman-Armstrong, accusing the men of of acting negligently and trespassing on private property on May 1. That case is currently waiting on a ruling by the Oregon Court of Appeals on Gibson's argument that the lawsuit is illegally attempting to censor free speech.
Clark ended her impact statement Thursday by reminding Kramer not to take his responsibility lightly.
"So please," she added, "my only asks are for you to take what I'm saying seriously, and to not be a fucking douchebag. And stop hanging out with douchebags."