Two members of far-right group the “Proud Boys” are facing charges for an alleged homophobic attack that took place last June in Northeast Portland.
One of the men, Donovan Lyle Flippo, was arrested on Tuesday, according to Oregan Live. The 23 year old has been charged with third-degree assault, a felony and fourth-degree assault.
“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.”
– Timothy Ledwith
His accomplice, Tusitala John “Tiny” Toese, has not yet been arrested but is also facing charges for the assault.
They are being charged with assaulting Timothy Ledwith in June of last year and for allegedly calling him a “faggot.”
The pair were allegedly shouting pro-Trump statements from a truck when Ledwith heard them and shouted a profanity back.
Flippo and Toese allegedly got out of their truck and followed Ledwith. He alleged that they then called him “a faggot” before physically assaulting him.
“Tiny walked over calmly and… punched me in the face,” Ledwith told the Guardian. “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.”
The alleged assault happened in a busy shopping area in Portland on Friday 8 June.
The Proud Boys have gained international attention for their extreme far-right ideologies. They are listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group was founded by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes.
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McInnes has formerly defended the use of the homophobic slur, “faggot”, saying it was a “handy” term that was rarely used against gay people.
Proud Boys have been linked to other violent incidents
This is not the first time the Proud Boys has been linked to a high profile assault. Last October, Proud Boys members were filmed attacking people and shouting homophobic slurs in New York City.
Video footage filmed by photojournalist Sandi Bachom and uploaded on YouTube appeared to show Proud Boys supporters in a violent scuffle after an event hosted by the group founder Gavin McInnes at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Republican Club.
The video showed people kicked and punched to the ground by Proud Boys supporters, one block away from the event venue. The slur “f**king faggot” could be heard as the attack took place.
“Tiny walked over calmly and… punched me in the face.”
– Timothy Ledwith
The Daily Beast reported that the victims of the attack may have been members of left-wing antifascist “antifa” groups.
It was reported in October that police were considering bringing hate charges against the men for the violent incident.
Meanwhile, McInnes came under fire last year for mocking a disable gay man.
In a widely circulated clip, he could be seen mocking Ryan Haddad, a man who featured in a HuffPost video about what it’s like to be gay and with cerebral palsy.