PORTLAND — Joey Gibson has been charged with rioting in connection to a May Day incident at Northeast Portland’s Cider Riot cidery, according to his attorney.
Gibson, the leader of the conservative group Patriot Prayer, is preparing to turn himself into authorities Thursday, a law enforcement source confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
“I think it’s a shame,” Gibson said on Lars Larson’s radio talk show Thursday. “This is a complete attack on the First Amendment. I literally stood on a sidewalk and got attacked.”
Gibson told KOIN that he believes the charge is politically motivated and an attempt to keep him from planned rallies this weekend in Portland.
According to The Oregonian, the charge against Gibson comes months after a lawsuit was filed by Cider Riot’s owner, who says Gibson and several other right-wing protesters arrived at his business May 1 and fought with customers, causing mayhem and physical injury to at least one person.
Five men face criminal charges in the incident at the Northeast Portland bar, according to Willamette Week. Video shows people using chemical spray and several people fighting.
Gibson’s lawyer, James Buchal, who also chairs the Multnomah County Republican Party, said in a statement that none of the multiple videos from the Cider Riot altercation shows Gibson being violent. He said Gibson faces a charge of felony riot.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office declined to confirm the existence of a warrant for Gibson’s arrest to Willamette Week.
Also Thursday, the Portland Police Bureau announced the arrest of two men related to the Cider Riot Incident. Russell E. Schultz, 50, of Washougal was taken into custody by the United States Marshals Service on a warrant on a charge of rioting. Matthew D. Cooper, 24, was also taken into custody on a warrant for the same charge.
This story will be updated.