A man wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat says that he was “sucker punched” by two people at a Portland bar, Yahoo News reports. Some of the man’s claims, however, don’t match up with what video surveillance of the event shows.
Luke Lenzner admits that he chose to wear the red-and-white hat, which has become something of a symbol of the Trump administration, in order to get a reaction. According to an affidavit provided to Yahoo News, Lenzner said that his wife told him to wear the hat to Portland’s Growler’s Taproom on Saturday to “see how people treat him.”
What happened next is a matter of dispute.
According to Portland’s KPTV, Lenzner claims that as he and his wife tried to enter the building, they were “mobbed” by a group of people taunting and refusing to let them inside.
“I got mobbed by everybody that was in that bar outside. People came from the inside out – just circled me and my wife,” Lenzner said.
Security camera footage from the scene seems to paint a different picture of what happened. According to the security footage, it wasn’t particularly busy, and indeed, employees from the bar say that they told Lenzner and his wife that they were closing up for the night.
Lenzner says that a crowd surrounded him and began taunting him.
“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,” he said.
Lenzner managed to get a photo of the license plate of the vehicle two of the alleged assailants were driving. Police were later able to track the vehicle down and arrest 22-year-old Leopold A. Hauser and 23-year-old Adebisi A. Okuneye.
Portland: Adebisi A. Okuneye & Leopold A. Hauser were arrested & charged with third degree assault for allegedly attacking a man wearing a MAGA hat at a bar. https://t.co/hJ6ccilIyK pic.twitter.com/lsQCqnKD9i— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 26, 2019
Hauser allegedly admitted to police that he “gave dirty looks” to Lenzner and his group because he “disagreed with the political statement of the hat.” Hauser said that Lenzner asked, “B***h, do you like my hat?” Security camera footage appears to show Lenzner pointing at his hat as he walks past Hauser’s table.
According to the Portland Police Department, Lenzner did appear to suffer some injuries in the incident. Okuneye and Hauser, whose relationship to each other wasn’t clear, were taken into custody.
Several times since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, people wearing MAGA hats and other Trump-related paraphernalia have been victimized in one way or another, such as by having their hats torn off of their heads.