Increasingly aggressive Portland protesters have camped outside Mayor Ted Wheeler's home in Southwest Portland two nights in a row, forcing the mayor to spend Wednesday night at a hotel.
Last night, a tire on Wheeler's car was deflated, his spokesman says. The mayor's office couldn't say for sure if the tire was slashed without an official word from a mechanic.
"There is one tire that was full when the sun went down and was completely flat with the sun came up," says spokesman Michael Cox, who described the tire as "rim on the ground" flat.
On Wednesday night, the mayor stayed away from home after up to 30 protesters at times banged drums while police watched over his family, Cox says.
Wheeler had an event—speaking to the Oregon Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society—that that ended late, Cox says.
Wheeler chose to stay at a Portland hotel until the early hours of the morning "because his daughter was asleep and [his return] would have created a huge disturbance beyond what was already taking place," Cox says, noting police were on hand and the mayor was in touch with his family.
In a Facebook video, protesters with a Black Lives Matter sign said they saw the mayor return home at 6 am and put out his garbage cans.
"He hasn't slept in two nights," says Cox.
Wheeler has an increasingly fraught relationship with protesters.
A small group of protesters have shut down City Council meetings nearly every Wednesday since he took office. The mayor has attempted to curb the disruptions of Council business, passing a resolution to exclude repeat offenders for up to 60 days. It's unclear whether that resolution will pass constitutional muster.
City Commissioner Nick Fish's office has told his staff and bureau staff to stop attending council meetings out of concern for their safety, The Portland Mercury first reported.