After right-wing extremist group Patriot Prayer allegedly graffitied its exterior and started a politically charged brawl, NE cider house and tasting room Cider Riot is suing the group for inciting violence and interfering with business. The specific claims consist of negligence, trespass and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
As first reported by Willamette Week, the suit alleges that the group’s “terror-campaign” specifically “demonstrated a pattern and practice of flouting local, state, and federal law to injure their perceived political enemies. This behavior inevitably lead to the repeated, unwanted violence” against Cider Riot’s team and customers. The lawsuit specifically mentions ringleader Joseph “Joey” Gibson, as well as Ian Kramer, who allegedly knocked a woman unconscious.
On May 1, a group of Patriot Prayer members, including Gibson, approached the patio outside Cider Riot where a group of presumed antifa protesters, dressed in black, had gathered. The bar occasionally hosts events directed at leftist groups — like its “Rock Against Fascism” concert — and according to the Portland Mercury, left-wing activists decided to casually meet up at Cider Riot after peaceful May Day protests. A video shows someone on the Patriot Prayer side pepper spray someone on the other side; the group responded by spraying back. The lawsuit details the alleged remainder of the brawl:
Gibson then facilitated and refereed a street fight between two persons outside of Cider Riot. He dictated the rules, and kept others from intervening while livestreaming to his followers. Gibson continued to antagonize the patrons at Cider Riot, whom were trying to force his retreat. Defendant Ian Kramer, a frequenter of Patriot Prayer rallies and associate of Gibson, used a baton to crack a Cider Riot patron on the head, knocking her unconscious. Upon information and belief, she suffered a serious vertebrae fracture.
According to Willamette Week, the woman knocked unconscious has not spoken to police, but Portland’s local left-wing groups are raising money for her medical care.
The lawsuit claims that Patriot Prayer has targeted the bar, forcing owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong to increase security; the lawsuit also attributes the persistent harassment to a decline in business. Goldman-Armstrong is suing Patriot Prayer for $1 million in damages, requesting a jury trial.
Still, Gibson seemed unfazed in his comments to Willamette Week. “I think that’s great because they have to spend money for their lawyer, my lawyer, and the fines coming down on them for allowing drunk customers to spit and spray me with pepper spray numerous time while they are on Cider Riot property as I am standing on a public sidewalk,” Gibson told the alt-weekly. Stay tuned for more updates.
• Cider Riot [Official]
• Owner of Local Bar Sues Joey Gibson After Fistfights And Pepper Spray On May Day [WWeek]
• Cider Riot is Suing Patriot Prayer and Joey Gibson for May Day Violence [Merc]
• A Northeast Cider House Was Hit With Anti-Antifa Graffiti and Vandalism [EPDX]