PORTLAND, Ore. — Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, a member of the alt-right group Proud Boys, returned to Portland to face assault charges, and on Monday his alleged victim was there to see him in court.
Toese was arrested by U.S. Marshals after stepping off a plane at PDX on Friday. He faced a judge Monday for the first time since his February indictment.
After Toese was indicted, he fled to his home in American Samoa, but he vowed to come back and face the charges.
Toese, who is 6-foot-4 but goes by the name "Tiny," earned a reputation as an enforcer by throwing punches at opponents during rallies in Portland. Some of those altercations were caught on camera.
It was an incident in June 2018 that got him indicted on assault charges. Toese and another Proud Boy named Donovan Flippo allegedly attacked a man in Northeast Portland.
That man, Timothy Ledwith, said he waved the pair off after they drove by yelling inflammatory things. But he said they stopped the truck and beat him up.
After Toese was arrested Friday night, he posted bail and on Monday, he entered a not-guilty plea.
As he left the courtroom, I asked him if he had anything to say to the man he's accused of beating.
"God bless everybody," he said. "I'm a proud western chauvinist and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world."
Ledwith said he hopes the prosecution of Toese goes by quickly and added this:
"I do think the Proud Boys are a hate group, by the way," he said. "I agree with the Southern Poverty Law Center."
Flippo, Toese's co-defendant, previously reached a deal, agreeing to plead guilty to fourth-degree assault. He was sentenced to eight days in jail, two years of probation, 40 hours of community service and a $100 fine.