Hours before astonishing violence broke out at yesterday's Patriot Prayer march, police made several arrests. Two of those arrests appear connected to a sidewalk attack in Northeast Portland early last month.
Portland police said in a statement that Tusitala "Tiny" Toese and Donovon L. Flippo were arrested at the rally because of criminal investigations that began on June 8.
Toese and Flippo were handcuffed and taken away while Patriot Prayer supporters were still corralled in Terry Schrunk Plaza by federal officers.
Toese was charged with assault in the fourth degree and Flippo was charged with disorderly conduct.
The arrests may be connected to an incident first reported by The Guardian. On June 8, Toese and Flippo cruised down a Portland street screaming 'Support Trump, build the wall,' a man named Ted Ledwith told The Guardian. Ledwith says he responded by cursing at the men as they drove past.
According to Ledwith's account, the pair stopped their truck, got out and Toese punched Ledwith.
"They were calling me a faggot and slinging epithets at me," Ledwith told The Guardian. "Tiny walked over calmly and … punched me in the face. I'm like, half his size. I was not a threat to them. I'm 34 years old, not 17. This is not a thing that happens to me day-to-day."
Portland police would not confirm a connection between the arrest and the incident on June 8. Toese and Flippo were briefly booked in the Multnomah County jail, then quickly released. Flippo was released on his own recognizance and Toese was let go under post-release supervision, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office's online booking records.
At least two other men were arrested Saturday. Luiz E. Marquez was booked on theft and assault charges connected to a May 31 incident. Matthew R. Braddock faces charges of robbery and assault, also connected to a May 31 incident.
Federal officers made five arrests, but would not identify the people they arrested.