Judge Tosses All Charges Against Joey Gibson in Cider Riot Case

“I am somewhat bewildered that the state has driven this case to this point,” said Multnomah County Circuit Judge Benjamin Souede.

A Multnomah County circuit judge has dismissed charges against Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, and Russell Schultz for their roles in a 2019 street brawl outside a cider bar in Northeast Portland. A trial in the case of a third defendant, Mackenzie Lewis, will continue.

Judge Benjamin Souede threw out the charges in court this morning, saying that prosecutors had failed to demonstrate that Gibson and Russell Schultz had engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct,” one of the requirements for conviction on riot charges.

“The state is trying to convict Mr. Schultz for being present at an incident that violence occurred, and they cannot do so,” Souede said.

“I am somewhat bewildered that the state has driven this case to this point,” he added, placing blame on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

The three defendants, along with three other men, were arrested for “taunting and physically threatening” anti-fascists at the Cider Riot bar on May Day 2019. They were charged with felony riot.

The melee was caught on camera. Two of the other men pleaded guilty, and a third was sentenced to prison for assault in an unrelated incident.

Patriot Prayer is a right-wing group based in Vancouver, Wash., that has repeatedly clashed with anti-fascist protesters in violent street battles in Portland and up and down the West Coast.