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Portland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Portland, Oregon | KGW.com

Portland mayor confronted by hostile group while out to dinner

Mayor Wheeler's office said one person in the group started "swatting" at him, hitting him at least once.
Credit: Bryant Clerkley

PORTLAND, Ore — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he was out to dinner with a friend Wednesday evening when a hostile group of people started shouting at him. One person in the group ended up hitting him during the encounter. 

Wheeler had been sitting in a restaurant's outdoor seating area for about five minutes when the encounter began. According to the mayor's office, it started with people yelling obscenities, which he tried to ignore, but eventually the group pushed its way past employees to get inside the tent where he was sitting. 

When the mayor asked the group to leave, one person started "swatting" at him, hitting him at least once, but he was not injured, his office said. 

Employees at the restaurant convinced the group to leave and police arrived a short time later, prompting the group to disperse. 

A statement from the Wheeler's office says "given the tenor of political discourse nationally and locally, it's not unusual for people to confront the mayor and other elected officials in public."

He indicated that Wednesday's encounter will not dissuade him from continuing to support local restaurants and businesses "as often as he can," and he urged others to do the same.