(Update: Adding video)
Woman says she sprayed man with mace after he shoved bullhorn in face
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Police were called to a Black Lives Matter protest rally in downtown Bend Wednesday after an argument led to a woman spraying a man with mace – in self-defense, according to the woman, who said he shoved her bullhorn in her face. Neither person pressed charges and police issued no citations.
Sgt. Joe Pacheco said officers responded around 1 p.m. to the protest event at the corner of Northwest Wall Street and Newport Avenue, the site known as Peace Corner where protests are frequently held.
On this day, a protest took place into the evening hours after a grand jury in Louisville charged no one in the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor, though one officer was charged for shooting into neighboring apartments.
Officers, called to the scene by another citizen, interviewed witnesses and obtained video footage of the incident, Pacheco said. They indicated that a 32-year-old Bend woman and 39-year-old Bend man were arguing near the intersection. During the argument, the woman allegedly sprayed the man with mace, he said.
The woman reported no injuries, Pacheco said, and did not wish to press charges. The man was treated by Bend Fire medics and also declined to press charges. Pacheco said no one was arrested or detained.
“The Bend Police Department is committed to the safety of citizens freely exercising their First Amendment rights and engaging in peaceful protest,” Pacheco said in a news release. “We will continue to respond to reports of criminal activities and investigate those events and refer cases to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.”
The woman, who asked that we not use her name or show her face, told NewsChannel 21 the incident began when the man started yelling at the protesters.
"We repeatedly asked him to leave, at which point he decided to escalate the situation and become more volatile,” she said. “He started pushing a lot of us, after repeatedly asking him to leave. He at that point took the blare horn that I had in my hand and shoved it back into my mouth, causing me to have a pretty bad bloody lip."
She said the man then walked away, and protesters said he sat in the area for some time, before police and medics arrived on scene. He left in an ambulance.
Protesters said they wanted to keep the message on why they were protesting this day: the grand jury’s decision in Breonna Taylor’s death.
"It was injustice -- justice has not been done for Breonna,” protester Josie Stanfield said. “They gave one of the officers three counts of wonton endangerment, and it was related to her murder. There were no officers charged with her murder. So yeah, that's why we are down here. We're protesting the injustice that has once again happened to the Black and brown community."