Portland mayor doused a man with pepper spray for arguing about COVID-19 rules

An unmasked man followed Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler from the pub to his car and got quite close. The mayor said he was concerned for his safety and asked him to follow the rules of social distance. The man didn’t listen, and Wheeler sprayed him with pepper spray.

The mayor said the man started arguing with him about mask rules and other issues and then got very close to him. Wheeler, a Democrat, told police, “I clearly communicated to him that he needed to back off before I sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.”

The man filmed the mayor on his phone and accused him of sitting in the restaurant without a mask, as required by pandemic rules. Wheeler tried to explain that the rules allow you to remove your mask while eating or drinking, but the American was pushy and too brazen. Not wearing a mask himself, he got so close to the mayor that he became nervous. “I became concerned for my personal safety because I had recently been physically attacked in a similar situation. Also, I didn’t want to get infected,” the mayor noted.

Police are now investigating the situation, and the mayor is cooperating with law enforcement. It is not yet clear what charges may be brought and to whom.