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Bend business owner recalls chaos from ICE protest

Stewart Fritchman talks about when ICE agents showed up at protest

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The scene Wednesday night was filled with chaos and confusion, as hundreds of protesters blocked two unmarked ICE buses from leaving with two detainees aboard near the Crane Shed Commons in southwest Bend.

However, just a few hours later, everything was cleaned up, the buses were gone. But now, the parking lot has become for some a memorial to the protest, filled with chalk-drawn messages and signs.

Thursday morning, NewsChannel 21 caught up with Stewart Fritchman, owner of the nearby Bellatazza, as he was helping clean up the site.

"We decided we needed to go down and do something to clean up,” Fritchman said. “But also, we needed to process what really happened."

Fritchman went live on his Facebook page late Wednesday night to document the protest as federal agents intervened to pull the detainees off the bus.

"All the protesters were right here, where we are standing,” he recalled. “Completely peaceful. Sitting, doing nothing and very aware that this was going to go down. So it started getting scary when they (U.S. Border Patrol agents) started advancing."

The scene rapidly deteriorated, and Fritchman said he saw what appeared to be someone being pulled away with a broken limb.

The detainees were eventually taken away from the scene in unmarked cars, but Fritchman said there are still many questions about the incident.

"There are so many missing elements to this story,” he said. “We had two giant vans here for apparently two guys, but we don't know why. Nobody saw a warrant."

He also said the whole event could have ended differently.

"This could have been de-escalated much quicker, much more easily and ended without a broken arm or being pepper-sprayed,” Fritchman said.

Bend / Business / Crime And Courts / Deschutes County / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



  1. “We don’t know why”…. good lord. Are these people really that dense? They were criminals, obviously on a list to pick up and process. And yes… there were two buses. One had the goon squad maybe, I dunno, but they went north and most likely picked others up along the way. If everybody on the pick-up list was in holding when the buses got there, then they’d be full

    1. obviously? – what you believe, regardless of verification, or lack there of, has nothing necessarily to do with reality, and is only “obvious” to you

      1. If you support these actions against ICE you promote violence against women and children. what is not obvious to you? Public court records, reporting by this news outlet, and others have shown these men are guilty of assault, Coerician, domestic abuse among other things.


        Obama put the kids in cages!

      2. I don’t know about that, it seems obvious to me also, these were wanted men, or the ICE guy’s would not have been here, if the unauthorized illegals, would have kept their noses clean then their would have been no reason for these ICE agents to come to Bend, they were brought here by the very actions of, the law breaking illegals.”Obviously”. Not to worry though Bend, this is only the start of our troubles, In Portland, the costs related to nearly 80 nights of protests have soared past the $23 million, how much are we willing to pay here in Bend?

  2. “Completely peaceful. Sitting, doing nothing”. Ya right. What you meant to say was that you were blocking the Agents, yelling obscenities, and disrupting their duties!

    I hope you lose a lot of business because of your stupid mistakes.

    1. Remember when the anti-lockdown MAGA protesters were interfering with police duties and insulting them with obscenities and yelling Heil Hitler a couple of months ago?

    2. I read he also complained the damages were estimated at $40k, after giving them permission. Real clever one we got here, maybe him and Krantz can room up.

    3. doing their duties… where, on the wrong side of history, have we heard that before – oh well, we don’t do science, or math, or history or any of that commie shtuff around here

    4. Yes, and the admitted to having to clean up the mess the miscreants and malcontents left behind. This moron can’t even make decent gelato yet he’s now an expert on how this could have ended better?
      I suggest the malcontent Fritchman concentrate his efforts on improving his gelato rather than share his thoughts on how this situation was handled. I used to stop by his shop in occassion to see if his product improved and much to my chagrin I would leave in in utter disappointment. No sense in taking a chance with disappointment again as I see this moron is too busy cleaning up after malcontents rather than concentrating his efforts on improving his product.

  3. Again, all was tranquil until the ironically named Peacekeepers descended and mob behavior began.

    I do give kudos to Fritchman for coming back to help clean up the mess left behind in the parking lot. But I won’t be buying anything at Bellatazza any time soon. Perhaps supporters of law enforcement should have a noisy rally at his business.

  4. “Stewie” Fritchman is a typical left wing radical supporter who runs his yap for Z21 when he should just go back inside and have another latte !

    And I quote… “Sitting, doing nothing and very aware that this was going to go down.”

    NO Stewie… the people disrupting this attempt to remove these two criminals had “no idea” what was “going down” ! For if they did- and they all decided to publicly support two repeat immigration offenders- with a laundry list of violent crimes- even in Deschutes County- then they all need to be rounded up and hauled away also ! Let them tag along with Josue and Marco up to the Tacoma detention center and support them there !

    Final note- “Bellatazza” is now on the radar of places to avoid in Bend !

    1. He is loving all the attention his “little Video” is getting him too. He is just another Portland liberal transplant, who probably moved there from CA. He is claiming on FB that he is being threatened because of this. I’d love to know where he’s seeing those, because it is certainly not on here.

      From Stewart: My little video of the protest garnered more than 35,000 views in 24 hours.
      It also earned comments of overt racism, closeted racism, insults, threats of physical harm, threats of murder, rape and general destruction of anything associated with those folks standing for the rights of the detainees on the bus. The majority of these destructive comments came from people unknown to me. However, some came from people I directly know. I choose not to block those folks as I feel building bridges is the only way to solve some of these issues before us.
      However, if your position isn’t one of policy disagreement it is now clear the root of your opposition is in race/hate/willful Ignorance. You are seen. If you want to learn together, let’s. There are ways to open up dialog other than “I hope they rape and kill you…”
      If you or media outlets want access, it’s saved and available. PM me.

  5. I wonder how the mentioned business owner would feel if the protesters began smashing windows and looting his store? It’s only a matter of time with the weak leadership in our city, Mr. business owner.

  6. It’s quite disturbing to know that Bellatazza supports crimes against women. I’m sure they were part of the Women’s March movement, but when it comes to this, a woman’s life doesn’t matter. I’d be concerned stepping foot into their business knowing they support abuse and crimes towards women!

  7. Maybe Stewart Fritchman should take it up with the manager of the motel . . . for allowing the protest on the motel’s private property. The manager could have asked the Bend Police Dept. to remove the protesters from their private parking lot. As is, I doubt ICE will use that motel in the future and that will result in a future loss of revenue for the hotel. They may not use any motel in Bend in the future because of this incident and that will result in a loss of revenue for the city. Don’t forget the loss of food sales as well or fuel sales. This incident will cost more than just an embarrassment!

    1. I’ve probably spent $100/year for about 10 years at Belltaza. Sadly no more. Sorry Stewart these guys were wanted for crimes, sorry that you were not able to see the arrest warrants because I’m sure that federal law mentions you and your white privelidge and access to peoples private ibformation. I think we need anothet Michael Frante concert to sooth everyones big, big hurt. Lets hope these guys don’t attack your wife or daughter.

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