Police believe an attorney with local law firm Brownstein Rask LLP and heir to the Alpenrose Dairy is the man who was pepper-sprayed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Sunday night, according to an updated police report.
The report identified Cary R. Cadonau, an attorney, as the person who was pepper-sprayed by the mayor. McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House’s general manager Scott Mitchell told police that Cadonau came into the restaurant Monday and asked for surveillance video of the incident as well as a copy of the ticket from the mayor’s order. Staff at McMenamins said Cadonau was a somewhat regular customer.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Cadonau would neither confirm nor deny he was involved in the confrontation. Warned he would likely be receiving many of these calls from local press, he said, simply, “Oh brother.”
According to a bio posted online, Cadonau specializes in estate, business litigation, family law, personal injury and criminal defense.
According to the report, Officer Matt Miller called Cadonau, who told him he was an attorney and believed the mayor should be held “accountable.” He said he recorded the entire incident.
“I informed him that I was aware he attempted to acquire the video surveillance footage and Mayor Wheeler’s food and drink receipt from the pub and asked him why,” read the account from Miller. “Mr. Cadonau said he wanted the receipt because it would show how much alcohol the mayor consumed that evening.”
Cadonau declined to elaborate on the incident or share his video footage, according to the report.
Cadonau told OPB he has brought on communications professional Mara Woloshin to help with the press inquiries. Woloshin, who said she’s a public relations practitioner who specializes in Medicare and Medicaid advocacy, said she was brought on by Cadonau soon after the police report was released Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday evening, Cadonau released a statement saying he was “remorseful” for his decision to confront Wheeler and was “sorry that he felt the need to use pepper spray.” Cadonau also directed an apology to his law firm and said he reached out to the mayor’s office “to request an opportunity to amicably resolve this matter.”
“I cherish Portland and our local community and recognize that Mayor Wheeler has a difficult job,” he wrote.
Woloshin had originally told OPB that she believed her client wanted “to disclose everything that went on in that exchange,” potentially including the video he took. But after debriefing with Cadonau and watching the video herself, she said such a disclosure would not be in the interest of either men.
“I believe it’s not in the best of either gentleman,” she said. “It’s a deep desire to move on.”
Throughout Monday, as the news of Wheeler pepper-spraying an individual in a confrontation over COVID regulations made national headlines, it was unclear who the man in question was.
According to the police report, the mayor had been leaving McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House in Southwest Portland with former Mayor Sam Adams around 8 p.m. Sunday when a person confronted him and accused him of sitting in a restaurant without wearing a mask, according to the report. Wheeler and Adams had been dining in an outdoor tent at the restaurant just prior to the encounter.
The man, who the mayor described in the report as middle-aged and white, followed Wheeler to his car while videotaping the interaction. The mayor said he warned the man he was carrying pepper spray and told the man to “back off,” but the man refused. As the mayor attempted to get into his car, the mayor pepper-sprayed the stranger in the eyes.
“He had no face mask on and got within a foot or two of my face while he was videoing me,” the mayor recounted to Sgt. Peter Simpson, according to the report. “I became imminently concerned for my personal safety, as I had recently been physically accosted in a similar situation. In addition, I was concerned about contracting COVID given that he was right in my face and he was not wearing a face mask.”
Reached by phone, Mitchell, the general manager, said the restaurant wasn’t offering any additional comment.