EXCLUSIVE: Man violently assaulted in Portland at Antifa 'festival' while holding up sign that read 'Andy Ngo is wrong but so is beating people up'

Bennett Haselton, of Seattle, WA, was brutally bear-maced by black-clad Antifa members.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

A man was assaulted by alleged members of Antifa in Portland on Saturday during the "Fash Free Festival" at Colonel Summers Park in the city's eastern district. The "radicalization & recruiting event" was hosted by Rose City Antifa to claim victory after two alleged Antifa defendants were found "not liable" in the civil jury trial of journalist Andy Ngo v. Rose City Antifa, et al earlier this month.

Bennett Haselton, of Seattle, WA, was brutally bear-maced by black-clad Antifa members during the event, according to video footage. Haselton, who is a left-leaning moderate Democrat and is critical of Ngo, arrived to counterprotest the event with a sign that read: "Andy Ngo is wrong but so is beating people up."

Haselton, who had held up the sign on the perimeter of the park, was first approached by alleged Rose City Antifa member Melissa Lewis, a self-proclaimed "Antifa terrorist," who had questioned his reason for showing up to the event. According to the video, Bennett explained that he thinks journalist Andy Ngo "is an idiot," but that the brutal physical attacks on Ngo "are wrong."

While Lewis was questioning Haselton, one of the defendants that had been found "not liable" during the civil jury trial, John Colin Hacker, appeared in the shot. Hacker, who is allegedly one of Antifa's "doxxers," was accused by Ngo in the complaint of approaching and doxxing Ngo which led to the journalist receiving a series of physical beatings by black block Antifa members in May 2021.

After Lewis and Hacker had approached Haselton, black bloc Antifa members confronted Haselton and violently attacked him with bear mace, video shows. One person who was not dressed in black attire had thrown water on him, while another Antifa militant maced Haselton with bear spray.

Victim Bennett Haselton

The Portland Police Bureau told The Post Millennial that officers responded to the scene but no arrests were made.

"On August 19, 2023, Central Precinct officers were dispatched to the 1900 Block of Southeast Taylor Street after someone called 911 to report they had been pepper sprayed. The victim told officers he was holding a sign that denounced violence when several people approached. One person threw water at him and another pepper sprayed him. The victim left the immediate area of the attack and called police. Nobody is in custody. The case is open," PPB said in a statement.

Following the event, Lewis wrote about the incident on X and asserted that everyone at the event showed "excellent anti-fascist behavior."

"Washing more mace off today I can't help but think about how everyone showed EXCELLENT antifascist behavior yesterday," Lewis wrote on X. "Appreciated it. No authoritarian, cultish behavior that made them stand by and watch violence occur based on rumor created by a violent, abusive predator."

Haselton told The Post Millennial that he filed a police report with the Portland Police Bureau but said that he has not yet been made aware of any arrests.

The Aug. 19 event hosted by Rose City Antifa was not permitted, according to Portland's Parks and Rec department.

The Post Millennial reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for comment and will update when additional information is made available.

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