Portland Grand Jury Refuses To Indict Couple Who Attacked Man Wearing MAGA Hat
Portland, OR – Two people were arrested for attacking a man who was wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat but the charges were dropped after a video surfaced that showed the alleged victim antagonizing people in another Portland bar the same night (video below).
The incident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. on Aug. 24 when Luke Lenzner and his wife arrived at Growler’s Taproom during date night, KPTV reported.
Lenzner claimed that as soon as they got to Growler’s Taproom, he was attacked by other customers who did not like his MAGA hat.
Staff told the Lenzners that the bar was closing and they were done serving customers for the night, according to The Oregonian.
But as the couple was leaving the bar, things turned ugly.
“I got mobbed by everybody that was in that bar outside. People came from the inside out - just circled me and my wife," Lenzner told KPTV.
In the security camera footage from the bar, Lenzner can be seen pointing to his hat and saying something as he was leaving.
Witnesses, including the bartender, told police that the man in the MAGA hat took a “fighting stance” and started the altercation, but police said the surveillance video showed Lenzner did not start the fight, KPTV reported.
The video showed Lenzner pointing to his hat and saying something as he left the bar but not getting physical.
He said that was when 23-year-old Adebisi Okuneye and 22-year-old Leopold Hauser attacked him, KPTV reported.
"Surrounding me, like literally surrounding me, pushing me. I'm just trying to get through, trying to stop the person from hitting me, from taking my hat, and then I get sucker punched," Lenzner said.
Police responded to the scene at about 12:50 a.m. and found Lenzner with injuries to his face but Okuneye and Hauser had already left the bar, KPTV reported.
However, Lenzner had gotten the license plate number from their vehicle and officers spotted them in the area shortly thereafter, according to The Oregonian.
Okuneye told police Lenzner had started the altercation when he asked "B---h, do you like my hat?" as he was leaving the bar, KPTV reported.
Hauser and Okuneye were arrested for the attack and each charged with one count of third-degree assault, KPTV reported.
Both were booked into the county jail.
The probable cause affidavit said that Lenzner’s wife had asked him to wear the MAGA hat while they went bar hopping to see how people treated him, KPTV reported.
Court documents showed the wife said that they had visited numerous bars in Portland that evening.
Despite the video that showed Lenzner was not at fault in the Growler Taproom fight, a Multnomah County grand jury declined to indict Okuneye and Hauser on Sept. 5 after additional video footage emerged that showed Lenzner antagonizing patrons at another Portland bar earlier the same evening that he got hit, The Oregonian reported.
That video showed Lenzner standing in the threshold of another bar, The Vern, antagonizing patrons inside the bar who repeatedly told him to leave.
It also showed the Lenzner told those people that he was a military veteran, a claim that was later debunked, The Oregonian reported.
Lenzner said the earlier video had nothing to do with the incident at Growler’s Taproom and blamed the grand jury’s failure to indict his attackers on the city’s liberal political leanings.
“I know who hit me, who assaulted me,” he told The Oregonian. “In any other city, they would have been indicted."
Watch video of the earlier incident here below: