Two members of far-right groups known for brawling in the streets of downtown Portland have been indicted on felony and misdemeanor assault charges, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Donovan Flippo, 23, and Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, 22, were secretly indicted on assault charges Feb. 28.
Secret indictments are regular indictments that aren’t immediately entered into a public court database upon filing. They’re generally used by law enforcement for investigative purposes or if they think the person being indicted might be a flight risk. The indictments were made public Tuesday after Flippo was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
The District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment a day after Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, publicly criticized prosecutors for failing to charge activists engaged in street violence. Flippo is a member of the Proud Boys, and Toese regularly attends protests in Portland on behalf of Patriot Prayer, the Vancouver-based far-right group that attracts white supremacists and has engaged in violence.
The alleged assault happened in Multnomah County on June 8, 2018.
The three-count indictment charges the two with third-degree assault for “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly, while being aided by each other, causing physical injury to another person.” The men are also separately charged with fourth-degree assault.
In recent weeks, Wheeler and city council members have repeatedly questioned why the DA had not prosecuted more Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys members filmed engaging in violence.
In a Feb. 19 press conference, a senior aide to Wheeler said he had met with the district attorney and Portland police the month before, reviewed videos of violence during protests and been told that there were legal obstacles to prosecuting people who appeared to be “acquiescing to violence,” engaged in “mutual combat” and would be able to argue they had acted in self-defense.
Willamette Week later reported that mutual combat is illegal under state laws.
In a public statement Feb. 15, Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly asked Underhill “to take swift action on the matter of policy violations and the rise of white supremacist violence.”
Toese has not yet been arrested.