PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — Left-wing protesters chased down, attacked and unmasked a man they believe to be the right-wing author Andy Ngo in disguise during a downtown Portland protest on Friday, May 28.
The Portland Tribune has not independently confirmed the fleeing man’s identity, and Ngo did not immediately issue any public statements on the matter.
One longtime protest observer told the Tribune he saw Ngo working out at a gym in a southeast Portland neighborhood one week ago, with gym staff reportedly greeting Ngo by name.
The Friday evening protest — which had lasted for several uneventful hours, at least by Portland standards — had not been declared an unlawful assembly or riot by authorities as the clock neared 11:30 p.m., with the crowd of perhaps 100 marching through the city without any reports of property damage before returning to a staging area outside the Multnomah County Justice Center.
At that point, many in the group became suspicious of a fellow protester, who was wearing tinted oversized ski goggles, a mask that obscured his face, black clothing and a Black Lives Matter flag worn as a cloak. Protesters said the man was attending the demonstration alone and did not respond to questions.
Suddenly, a foot chase broke out — with around a dozen people chasing the person they believed to be Ngo away from the Justice Center. The man attempted to seek refuge in several buildings but was eventually tackled to the ground and struck repeatedly. His goggles and cape were torn from him.
The man then fled up Morrison Street and received shelter inside the swanky The Nines hotel. He was seen crouching behind the front desk as confused clerks attempted to secure the premises. Protesters chanted and pounded on the glass windows all the while.
“I want Andy Ngo!” one cried.
“He’s hiding right here!” said another.
“Come on out!” shouted a third.
The man eventually entered an elevator and was not seen again.
Portland Police Bureau officers, who had already made at least one targeted arrest earlier in the night, soon arrived by van and arrested another person outside the hotel. The arrested person’s phone continued to stream video from inside an evidence bag.
Officers eventually withdrew from the scene, leaving a small crowd to tangle with hotel valets and befuddled guests.
Ngo is one of the most prominent critics of the left-wing movement known as antifa. As recently as 2019, he was a little-known writer who frequently live-streamed Portland demonstrations. During an infamous rally in June of that year, crowds doused him in milkshakes and attacked him; the incident gave Ngo a massive social media following he parlayed into frequent television appearances and a book published earlier this year.
There have been several incidents in which Asian men attending protests have been confused with Andy Ngo. While Ngo recently made headlines after announcing he had relocated to London, he has also occasionally attended protests incognito, writing in December that he sometimes goes “in black bloc to protests,” but not always. Blac bloc refers to the midnight colors worn by members of the left-wing group.