Jorge Ventura, who has been covering the events for weeks, said he arrived on the scene Sunday night moments after a man was viciously assaulted by protesters near the federal courthouse.
“We have to really watch our backs as reporters on the ground,” Ventura said. “I’ll be dressed in all black. I’ll have a helmet on me and usually have a gas mask on me, so it does feel like I’m preparing for a war zone here when I go reporting downtown Portland.”
Portland police told Fox News the victim, whom Ventura identified as Adam Haner, is recovering with non-life-threatening injuring and no arrests have been made after a hostile crowd reportedly chased his truck before it crashed and assaulted him.
“Adam was pulled out of the vehicle. He did not fight back. Several men punched him in the face … a female then kicked him in the back of the head and then we saw a suspect with a vest that said security kick him in the head and that sent Adam unconscious. Even then they continued to attack Adam as he was clearly unconscious,” Ventura recalled after arriving on the scene. “It was very tough to see it in person.”
Drew Hernandez, a man who recorded the moment Haner was assaulted, told Fox News the man was possibly defending a transgender woman being beaten and robbed by Black Lives Matter protesters when the mob turned their attention to him and his female companion.
Hernandez described it as “extremely violent” and said it felt like “walking in a Third World country.”
The attack comes as Portland continues to grapple with nights of unrest that have increasingly turned violent, leading to shootings, assaults, arson and the hurling of deadly objects at police officers.
Ventura said that when he interviewed locals in the city, there was a lot of initial support for the Black Lives Matter protests and police reform — until the violence began.
“There are two clear groups of protesters,” Ventura said. “There are the original Black Lives Matter protesters who are there who want some type of police reform who are voicing their opinion, but later in the night, we see a change of guard where we see these agitators come onto the streets and antagonize the police, causing violence and destruction.”
Ventura spoke to an Iraq War veteran who said it reminded him of when he fought in Iraq.
Ventura said Mayor Ted Wheeler is losing both sides of the issue.
“Portland locals want to see law and order established yet, Ted Wheeler isn’t doing that,” he said, “and when I speak to folks protesting they are mad at Wheeler because he hasn’t defunded the police. So it seems both sides are angry at the mayor and want to see some type of leadership restored.”