One of the leading figures in the traveling far-right protest movement that has sparked bloody street melees up and down the West Coast was detained and criminally cited tonight in Portland.
Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, 21, perhaps the most recognizable person in the Portland area's far-right activist circles, was issued a criminal citation for disorderly conduct in the second degree. His nose was bloodied and bruised in a fight with counterprotesters. Despite his cuts, he continued to participate in the protest until it dissolved around 6 pm, when Portland police detained and cited him.
Portland police made the decision not to arrest him on the misdemeanor charge because he needed to go to the hospital to get stitches from his injuries. Christopher Burley, a police spokesman, said the bureau is short on resources and couldn't send an officer to accompany Toese through his hospital stay.
Toese, who is from Vancouver, Wash., has been a regular presence at alt-right events in Portland throughout the year. The huge Samoan man has regularly been at the center of physical altercations—including punching a man half his size in the face in downtown Portland in May.
But court records indicate that today is the first time he's been cited for a crime.
Two other people were arrested Sunday afternoon. Portland police declined to release the name of a 16-year old taken into custody, but a police spokesman said he was taken to Donald E Long juvenile detention center because he had an outstanding felony warrant for burglary, reckless burning, and criminal mischief. He was cited for disorderly conduct in the second degree. Jonny Perez, 24, was arrested on disorderly conduct in the second degree, interfering with an officer and escape in the third degree. Perez will be arraigned on Monday.
All three are accused of fighting in the early minutes of the "Patriot Prayer" march, in a bloody ruckus that ranks among the most bruising street fights in a year of political violence.
Burley said that police chose to make the arrests and citations after the fights had died down in order to avoid escalating the situation and avoid the need for police to exercise force. Because the fights broke up relatively quickly, Burley said the police did not feel the need to intervene immediately.
Burley added that officers would continue to review footage of the brawl at Sunday's protest and could possibly make more arrests.
This post was updated at 9 pm to include additional details about the arrests.