Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Sunday night pepper sprayed a man who confronted him with a video camera as he was leaving a restaurant, The Oregonian reported.
Wheeler was asked about the incident at a press conference Monday, and said he was confronted by a man he described as middle aged and not wearing a mask as he left a local restaurant. The man accused him of violating the city's coronavirus mandate because he was not wearing a mask while he was eating dinner.
Wheeler said he told the man he had been eating in a tented area that does not require masks under current guidelines.
"He had no face mask on and got within a foot or two of my face while he was videoing me," Wheeler said, according to a police report of the incident. "I became imminently concerned for my personal safety."
Wheeler said he told the man "he needed to back off," but "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."
Wheeler said he then gave the man a bottle of water to rinse his face.
It is not the first time Wheeler has been confronted recently. A group of left-wing activists confronted him inside a restaurant and some made physical contact with him earlier this month.
During protests last summer over racial justice, some demonstrators smashed windows and set fires in his condo building, forcing him to move.
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