Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, a member of the far-right group Proud Boys, has been arrested on a Multnomah County warrant for his actions during an August 22, 2021 protest in Portland, according to sources familiar with the case. Toese is facing a total of eleven criminal charges.
Toese was one of many members of the Proud Boys and other far-right organizations who showed up in Northeast Portland on Sunday, August 22 with paintball guns and bear mace, looking for a confrontation with antifascist Portlanders. The so-called "Summer of Love" rally marked the one-year anniversary of a similar right-wing demonstration in downtown Portland, which was defined by its lack of police response. The 2021 event, held in an abandoned Kmart parking lot in the Parkrose neighborhood, was no different. Right-wing activists violently clashed with antifascists that afternoon in a haze of smoke bombs and white paint with no police intervention. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said that officers were monitoring the situation from afar and would make arrests at a later date.
Mayor Ted Wheeler admitted that this hands-off response was inappropriate a month later.
Toese was captured on film during the event shooting a paintball gun at antifascist protesters, attacking an individual in a parked truck, and helping a group of protesters tip over an empty van parked in the lot.
He was also filmed after the clash condemning the police for not responding to the protest to protect him and others.
"I know days from now, I might be arrested," he said at the time. "I'm sick and tired, and if we have to die to defend ourselves, our families, and our fucking freedom in America, we're gonna do it."
Toese was previously arrested and jailed in 2020 for assaulting an antifascist bystander two years prior. He was released in December 2020.
Toese has been charged with three counts of assault in the second degree, two counts of assault in the third degree, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of riot, and two counts of criminal mischief.
A judge issued a secret warrant for his arrest on these charges on December 16. (A secret warrant prevents a suspect from knowing there's a warrant out for their arrest, if it's a possibility that they'll run.)
Court documents show that Toese was arrested in Vancouver by Vancouver police at 1:35 am on December 29, and was held in Clark County Jail. He's since been relocated to Thurston County Jail, in Olympia. Toese is currently in the process of being extradited to Multnomah County Jail.
Toese's first hearing before a Multnomah County judge has yet to be scheduled.