A well-known member of the far-right group The Proud Boys was locked up on a probation violation after he was caught on camera during an alleged assault in Seattle’s protest zone.
Tusitala “Tiny” Toese—who escaped jail time for brutality in Portland, Oregon, in 2o18— was picked up on a warrant in Multnomah County this week.
As The Daily Beast reported on June 16, footage published by The Daily Caller showed men in Proud Boys gear shoving and punching a man and breaking his phone in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest Area, which sprung up during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.
It appeared Toese, who is also a member of the Patriot Prayer group, was part of the gang that then piled into a minivan with no plates and fled.
As TV station KOMO first reported, authorities in Multnomah County in Oregon started getting calls from people who recognized him in Seattle and knew he was still on probation—the terms of which required him to notify a corrections officer of any travel and not break any laws. Toese allegedly was also seen at protests in Multnomah County, in violation of his probation.
The Proud Boys are pugilistic ultra-nationalists with ties to white supremacists and have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
While Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson told The Daily Beast that the beating in CHOP amounted to “self defense,” Toese appeared to threaten anti-fascist protesters in a video days earlier amid nationwide unrest over police brutality.
“If y’all don’t stop, the time to play patriot vs. antifa is around the corner,” he said. “If we can’t talk sense to you, we’re gonna smack it in.”
CHOP—a six-block, police-free zone in Seattle created through negotiation between police and protesters—was largely peaceful until a spate of recent shootings brought heat from city officials and put its future in peril.