Portland, OR – Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced on Tuesday morning that he plans to move out of his condominium in the 16-story tower that has repeatedly been targeted by rioters.
Hundreds of people showed up outside the mayor’s Pearl District home on Aug. 31 to “celebrate” his 58th birthday.
Many members of the group wore party hats and carried balloons and signs demanding the mayor’s resignation, KATU reported.
Some sang “Happy tear gas, war crimes Wheeler/Happy tear gas to you,” to the tune of “Happy Birthday,” according to the news outlet.
Upon their arrival at Wheeler’s building, the mob launched off commercial-grade fireworks, broke into a random business, smashed various windows, graffitied buildings, and ignited a fire inside an occupied apartment building, according to a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) press release.
Rioters pushed a dumpster to the middle of the street and set it ablaze, then started a second fire in the roadway, KATU reported.
They fueled the fires with various pieces of furniture they had stolen from a building they had broken into, according to the PPB.
Just two minutes after police ordered the mob to leave the area, police saw a member of the crowd “throw burning material through a broken window into a ground-level business [inside] a large, occupied apartment building,” according to the press release.
Police then declared the situation to be a riot.
They arrested 19 people before the chaos finally died down around 2 a.m.
Wheeler sent an email out to the other residents of his 114-unit condominium building the following morning, The Oregonian reported.
“I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position,” he wrote, according to the paper. “It’s unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration.”
Wheeler said that he has decided it would be “best for me and for everyone else’s safety and peace” for him to find a new place to live, The Oregonian reported.
According to Multnomah County property records, Wheeler purchased the two-bedroom condo in 2017 for $840,000.
In addition to the 114 residences inside the tower, the building also houses a retail space on the ground floor, The Oregonian reported.
Wheeler said that the attacks on Monday night severely damaged a minority-owned business and left many families in fear.
“These acts range from stupid, to dangerous, to criminal. The violence must stop. None of this should sit well with any thinking Portlander,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “Arson and terrorizing families with children does nothing except steal, and distract from, the important message of the racial justice movement…We cannot allow our anger to destroy what we are trying to support.”
Monday night wasn’t the first time rioters converged on the building where Wheeler resides.
A group of protesters gathered at the mayor’s building on Aug. 28, just hours after the he boasted on social media about turning down President Donald Trump’s latest offer to send federal law enforcement to Portland to help quell the violent uprisings.
Members of the group locked arms in the lobby area and refused to leave, video footage showed.
Another video showed a group of people demanding to be let inside the building.
“I got white people s–t to do in there!” one man yelled through the closed glass doors. “Ted Wheeler lives in your building…on the 11th floor. Go to 1131 and tell that person, until they leave, we’ll be here every week, okay?”
The group then proceeded to hold a loud rock concert out on the street, including an “antifa mosh pit,” according to reporter Andy Ngo.
Protesters also briefly attempted to set up an “autonomous zone” outside Wheeler’s condominium tower back in June, The Oregonian reported.