For security reasons, the mayor of the American city of Portland, Ted Wheeler, used pepper spray against a man who, accusing him of not wearing a mask in a cafe, came close enough himself, without personal protective equipment, according to a local Oregonian newspaper, citing a policy document.
The incident took place on Sunday evening at approximately 20:00 local time. Wheeler told police that they were in a pub with ex-mayor Sam Adams and finished their dinner when a middle-aged man approached them.
The man accused the mayor of eating on the premises without a mask. In turn, Wheeler replied to him that they dined under a canopy, and there a mask is not required by the current rules.
The man, who was himself without a mask, nevertheless followed the mayor to his car and was, according to Wheeler, about a meter (one to two feet) from his face, and all the while filming. The mayor admitted that he began to fear for his safety.
“I told him clearly to get behind me. He didn’t, so I told him that I had a pepper spray with me, and I’ll use it if he doesn’t back down. He remained not close, I took out the spray. with pepper gas and splashed him in the eyes, ” the mayor said in a statement to the police.
Wheeler then gave the man a bottle of water to rub his eyes. The mayor told law enforcement officers that he did not remember having ever seen this person before. Mayor’s spokesman Tim Becker said Wheeler was “working with the police to investigate.”