After brawling with left-wing activists in Portland for more than a year, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese could soon face criminal charges. According to multiple Portland media outlets, the victim of an alleged assault last year said that a Multnomah County grand jury voted to bring assault charges against Toese and Donovan Flippo, both Vancouver residents.
But Toese will not face charges related to an incident last year at Vancouver Mall where he tussled with a teenager. Kevin McClure, assistant Vancouver city attorney, said that no charges were ever filed in the incident. He didn’t have details on the decision but said there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges.
The incident occurred in May when Mykel Mosley, a teenager from Oregon, got into an altercation with Toese and Flippo in the parking lot of the mall. Both men have been associated with the Proud Boys, a right-wing group that’s drawn scrutiny for its perceived misogyny, white nationalism and involvement in political violence. Both men have also attended rallies in Portland sponsored by Vancouver-based right-wing group Patriot Prayer.
While what happened at the mall has been disputed, a video of the incident has surfaced online that shows Toese charging Mosley and pushing him to the ground. Following the incident, Mosley was arrested and charged with assault. Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik later dropped the charges after Portland-based social justice group Western States Center contacted him. Golik referred the incident to the Vancouver city attorney.
“We’re disappointed to hear that the perpetrators are not being held responsible,” said Lindsay Schubiner, a program director at Western States Center, in an email. “We hope this is not an indication of the level of fear among vulnerable communities in terms of interacting with the police in Vancouver.”
McClure said that Vancouver police were able to investigate the incident further, but had trouble getting additional statements from the alleged victim. In the end, he said there was not enough evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. McClure didn’t recall when the decision to not pursue charges was made and didn’t respond to a follow-up email.
Brent Weisberg, spokesman for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, said that grand jury proceedings are secret and declined to comment on whether Toese and Flippo have been charged with any Oregon crimes.