Sam Adams Recorded Audio of Ted Wheeler Pepper-Spraying a Man Outside McMenamins. Here’s the Tape. 

“You are 1 foot away from me,” Mayor Wheeler says. “You are not 6 feet away.”

Mayor Ted Wheeler visits protests in downtown Portland. (Wesley Lapointe)

The lone eyewitness to a confrontation between Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and a middle-aged man who confronted him Sunday night outside a McMenamins pub in Hillsdale? Former Mayor Sam Adams.

Adams told police he tried to record video of the altercation, which culminated in Wheeler pepper-spraying the man in the face. But Adams could only record audio on his phone, the police report says.

Adams gave Portland police a copy of the recording as evidence in an open investigation.

WW has obtained that audio.

In it, the unknown man confronts Wheeler and Adams about meeting at a restaurant during a pandemic.

"Excuse me," Wheeler says, "apparently you don't know the rules." He says two people can dine together if they are 6 feet apart.

"You weren't 6 feet apart from Mr. Adams over there," the man replies.

"Yeah, we were," interjects Adams.

The audio is then interrupted with rustling noises, apparently because Adams is walking. The last thing the man says before Wheeler deploys pepper spray appears to be: "Thanks for ruining our city," although the last word is garbled.

"You just pepper-sprayed me," the man then says.

"You are 1 foot away from me," Wheeler replies. "You are not 6 feet away."

"Oh my God," says the man, seemingly reacting to the spray. "Wow."

Adams suggests Wheeler leave. "All right, Mr. Mayor, get on the road."

The man Wheeler sprayed also appears to be recording the altercation, because he narrates what happened as if to an audience. "You just pepper-sprayed me, for no reason, at all," he says.

"Actually," Adams replies, as Wheeler's car engine starts, "I was here and you were like a foot from him. He asked you to back away and you didn't."

The man continues narrating. "I can't see," he says, "but the mayor has just thrown something at me."

That object, Wheeler told police, was a water bottle, so the man could wash out his eyes.

Related: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler pepper-sprayed a heckler outside a McMenamins. Former Mayor Sam Adams was a witness.

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