- On Monday, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese and Joey Gibson were both seen at Seattle’s occupy movement CHOP
- Toese claimed he was ending his relationship with Gibson and Patriot Prayer after being sentenced to two years probation in January for an assault
- Video shows Toese and fellow Proud Boys Zac Stagg and Cole Scott assaulting a man while destroying his cellphone
On Monday, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese made an appearance at Seattle’s occupy movement now known as the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or “CHOP.” Toese coincidentally arrived at CHOP around the same time as close friend and Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson. Before Toese and a group of Proud Boys left the area, they assaulted a man and broke his phone.
Earlier in the day, live streamer Rod Webber saw Gibson checking out CHOP. Webber approached Gibson and asked what his intentions were. Gibson denied any ill intentions, claiming he was only checking the area out. Some familiar with Gibson believe he was there to case the area for his Proud Boy companions.
When asked what he thought of CHOP, Gibson replied, “I like it.” Gibson went on to encourage those occupying to use more guns and push for the dismantling of laws. When asked if he was there in support, Gibson replied, “I’m just witnessing.” Despite Webber’s persistence and suspicion, Gibson continued to claim he was not there to cause problems.
Webber justifiably did not believe Gibson’s claims. Over the years Gibson has developed a balancing act of uniting white supremacists while denying white supremacist beliefs. While Gibson claims he and Patriot Prayer are not a violent hate group, there is no question that he attracts and accepts support from known racists who actively partake in acts of violence.
Steven Shane Howard, former Imperial Wizard for the North Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan claimed to The Columbian, “I’ve seen white supremacists at his events.” Former Nazi skinhead Steven Stroud referred to Patriot Prayer members as “nativist bigots.” The Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer has speculated that Gibson and his group are likely led by the “white Aryan master race Nazis in shades and three-piece suits, whispering into their earpieces and coordinating everything.”
Gibson is known for holding events that draw large counter-protests. After the situation turns volatile, he will typically enter the counter-protest areas in hopes of live streaming an attack which then helps donations he receives online. Despite the claim that he does not encourage violence, Gibson currently is facing legal problems in both civil and criminal court due to one of his events that turned violent.
On a criminal level, Gibson currently faces riot charges following his involvement in an event that turned violent on May 1 of last year at the Cider Riot pub in Portland Oregon. On February 18, Gibson’s lawyer, Angus Lee, entered a motion to move the trial because he does not believe his client will receive a fair trial.
The inhabitants of the county are so prejudiced against Mr. Gibson that Mr. Gibson cannot possibly expect an impartial trial in the county. Mr. Gibson cannot appear in public in Multnomah County without encountering masked residents who spit upon him and physically attack him.Angus Lee Via Portland Mercury
Gibson is also facing a $1 million lawsuit along with five other men associated with Patriot Prayer filed by the owner of Cider Riot. On July 22, Gibson’s attorney, James Buchal, filed a motion for dismissal under the claim that his client was only using his free speech. Buchal claimed the lawsuit filed by Cider Riot was a “SLAPP” lawsuit, which is short for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. A common strategy to silence someone in the court system.
Multnomah County Judge Andrew Lavin denied the motion due to evidence that showed Gibson’s actions went beyond practicing freedom of speech. “Would a reasonable [person] conclude that certain individuals outside Cider Riot on May 1st engaged in conduct that went beyond constitutionally protected speech or demonstration and therefore became tortious and/or criminal?” Lavin asked. “The answer to that is yes,” he said. Multiple videos were uploaded online showing the violence that broke out.
The Proud Boys stood with Gibson’s Patriot Prayer group during the violence in front of Cider Riot. Over the years it is common to see the two groups hand in hand. The Proud Boys were formed in 2016, the same year Gibson formed Patriot Prayer. Former VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes formed the Proud Boys which he self-described as “western chauvinists.”
The Proud Boys are most notable for their role in the 2016 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that claimed the life of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Despite Proud Boys member Jason Kessler organizing the event, McInnes ignored any responsibility for the event and Heyer’s death. After Heyer’s murder, Kessler later tweeted out a link to the Daily Stormer and referred to her as a “fat disgusting communist.” He went on to write, “Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.”
Kessler later backtracked and blamed the tweet on a mix of “Xanax, Ambien, and alcohol” after receiving heavy backlash even from within the white supremacist community. Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer called the tweet “morally dubious” and “beyond reckless.”
The man responsible for Heyer’s murder was identified as 22-year-old neo-Nazi James Fields. Last year Fields was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 419 years. He admitted to intentionally driving his car into a group of people, which killed Heyer. Fields also received a life sentence in federal court but avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to 29 hate crime charges.
In August, Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 40, were each sentenced to four years in prison and five years post-release supervision. The two men were part of a group of 10 who were charged in connection to a vicious beating that occurred in October 2018. The 10 Proud Boys beat four anti-fascists—more commonly referred to as Antifa—after the group held an event featuring McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance described the attack as a “battle-royale, kicking and beating four individuals in a brutal act of political violence.”
Keeping with the group’s modus operandi, Toese, 23, has made a name of himself through his violent acts while standing with both Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys. Many think of Toese as Gibson’s righthand man, so it did not come as a shock when Webber saw Toese shortly after seeing Gibson. Toese was with Zac Stagg and Cole Scott, two known Proud Boy members. However, there could be a reason for Gibson and Toese not wanting to be seen together.
Toese is currently on probation after pummeling Timothy Ledwith with fellow Proud Boy Donovan Flippo in 2018 in Northeast Portland. He was facing a felony assault charge before taking a plea deal in January. According to Ledwith, Toese and Flippo were shouting pro-Trump slogans and homophobic slurs as he walked down Northeast 12th Avenue and Broadway on June 8, 2018.
As Ledwith was crossing the street he yelled back at them. That is when the two men stopped the truck and attacked Ledwith. Circuit Judge Kathleen Dailey ordered Toese pay $1,800 in restitution to Ledwith. He was sentenced to two years probation and 80 hours of community service. Flippo pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and served eight days in jail.
Toese was also sentenced to ten days in jail in October in Multnomah County by Circuit Judge Katharine von Ter Stegge after he was arrested at the Portland International Airport on a pair of outstanding warrants related to a felony assault charge from 2017. Toese was returning to United States mainland after traveling to his hometown of American Samoa.
Following his plea deal in January, Toese is not allowed to attend any protests in Multnomah County for two years. In a statement given to KOIN 6, Toese claimed, “My political times and my protest times are over.” Toese also claimed he was no longer affiliated with Patriot Prayer or Gibson, which could explain the distancing between each other on Monday.
In a video posted to Facebook in March of last year, Toese claimed he was going to hit the streets with an “anti-faggot movement.” He claimed it was also an “anti-butthurt movement” and an “anti-butt fucking movement.” Toese went on to say, “You wanna fuck a dude? Go ahead. Don’t ever expect me to respect that shit.” The video was screen-recorded and tweeted out by David Neiwert.
22) Tiny recently quit PP and is now a full-time Proud Boy. He also announced that he was planning to take an “anti-faggot movement” to the streets in Portland.— David Neiwert (@DavidNeiwert) March 31, 2019
It’s rather odd that Ngo doesn’t mention these threats, don’t you think? pic.twitter.com/YqvWs2OE3v
Once he was spotted, Webber approached Toese and asked what he was doing at CHOP. “Having a good time,” Toese responded as he continued walking. Scott and Stagg were seen trying to provoke Webber as Toese ignored his questions. Webber’s inquiries of the coincidental timing of Gibson and Toese showing up at CHOP were met with silence.
Along with being a Proud Boy, Stagg is also a member of Operation Cold Front. Stagg acts as security while the transphobic far-right group attempts to film altercations around the Seattle area. He is believed to have been involved in vandalizing a COVID-19 memorial in Spokane last month with fellow Proud Boy Daniel Lyons Scott.
The memorial was made up of crosses for locals who died from COVID-19 at Spokane City Hall. The memorial’s organizer, Tom Robinson, posted photos of the memorial before and after a Proud Boy protest. Robinson was surrounded by Proud Boys who began demanding him to remove his mask. He told The Spokesman-Review that he ran to the nearest police and requested they intervene but they refused.
Dustin Jolly later posted a series of screenshots to Facebook. The screenshots were of posts on TikTok made by Stagg showing the destruction of the memorial. A caption read, “Antifa made a fear propaganda cemetry. We cleaned it up. We don’t stand for COMMUNIST FEAR!”
During a much more embarrassing incident in September, Stagg is said to have been assaulted by teenagers before stepping in dog feces while attempting to infiltrate the Seattle Climate Strike, an event organized by local high school students. Stagg posed as a member of Black Bloc but witnesses claimed “he was quickly recognized, demasked, and then got his ass kicked by a bunch of high schoolers. Then he literally stepped in dog shit.” Allegedly Stagg also urinated on himself during the incident. Pictures of Stagg standing in feces at the event were shared on “It’s Going Down” and other social media platforms.
The new This Week in Fascism, from @IGD_News, is live now!— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) September 24, 2019
This week features Proud Boy Zac Staggs attempting to bloc up and infiltrate antifascists, then getting demasked and getting his ass kicked by high schoolers before literally stepping in dogshit. https://t.co/CSfxqSybJe
While Scott is known by some, he appears to lack the same amount of publicity as his fellow Proud Boys. Scott has been photographed at several Proud Boys events, including events where Gibson was present. However, he appears to be a bottom shelf member of the group.
Shortly after leaving the first time, Webber’s concerns were validated when Scott, Stagg, and Toese returned to CHOP with a small group wearing Proud Boys jackets and carrying signs and American flags. Gibson was not seen with the group. Instead, Gibson was doing a stream from a nearby home as the group made their way through CHOP. Both Scott and Stagg were less confrontational upon their return where they were both seen wearing Proud Boys jackets. Webber did notice Stagg had also armed himself with a pistol in his waistband.
The group came with clear intentions of trying to provoke a reaction. While the situation did appear tense at times, it was far from the scene Colton Duncan and Katie Daviscourt made it out to be on Twitter. Duncan, who was seen with the Proud Boys upon their return, claimed in a tweet he and Daviscourt were kicked out of an “American City for carrying an AMERICAN FLAG.”
Today, Terrorists kicked me, @KatieDaviscourt and these Black Patriots out of an American City for carrying an AMERICAN FLAG.— Colton Duncan (@duncan_colton) June 16, 2020
If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention.
Fascists have taken over Seattle. What if it was your city?
Silence is complacency. pic.twitter.com/B3HhbcjQLu
On a stream from Webber showing the confrontation, a man claims Daviscourt is with the group but wearing a hood, mask, and glasses. While Daviscourt has not admitted to having a connection to the small group of Proud Boys led by Toese, they ironically spent Monday hanging around the same people in the same area. In a video tweeted by Daviscourt on Monday, Gibson can be seen filming two street preachers that were also seen with the Proud Boys group later in the day.
The Proud Boys stayed in the area for under two hours before leaving. The confrontation stayed peaceful for the most part, with minimal insults being hurled back and forth between the opposing crowds.
Sadly, Webber’s concerns were validated after his stream ended. As the Proud Boys were leaving, Richie McGinnis filmed Scott, Stagg, Toese and at least two other individuals steal a man’s phone, physically assault him and then smash his phone on the street. Toese, who is on probation, can be seen assisting in the assault before getting into a white van that appears to not have a license plate. McGinnis asks the man if he is okay, to which he responds, “I’m shaken.” Some have pointed out that it appears Scott was brandishing a firearm towards the end of the attack.
Fight broke out between people wearing Proud Boys gear and an unknown individual.— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) June 16, 2020
This was just a few blocks from border of The CHAZ so police and medical professionals are now on the scene. pic.twitter.com/04IoPOpf38
Webber interviewed the victim after the attack. According to the unnamed victim, Toese was the first to attack him, followed by Stagg, then Scott. The victim said one of them pulled out a police baton. He was not sure if that was responsible for the swelling seen on his forehead or if it was a fist.
Webber started a Go Fund Me for the victim to replace his phone as it is clearly seen in the video that Stagg ensured the phone was destroyed. You can help replace the victim’s phone by clicking here.
Before Monday’s attack, Toese had been using the Facebook account “John Leautulilagi” to make threats towards Antifa. Toese appears to have removed the account early Tuesday morning. At least one clip of a livestream was captured before the account was removed and shared to Twitter by “Idavox.”
On June 7, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese posted this video on his Facebook page where he issues a threat to those he calls antifa. Yesterday he and other Proud Boys attacked someone who wasn’t an activist, but just a guy recording them at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle, WA. pic.twitter.com/IGAdHDbmnG— Idavox (@IdavoxOPP) June 16, 2020
In a phone call with Gibson heard by discuss after the assault, Gregg Housh asked about the strange timing of events on Monday. Gibson sounds a bit shaken as he is told where to view the video of Scott, Stagg, and Toese assaulting the man. However, after asking where he could see the video, Gibson asks if Housh condemns Antifa violence instead of addressing Toese’s latest assault. After apparently seeing the video, Gibson calls Housh a “crybaby” and starts asking if he has ever been in a fight. Gibson abruptly ends the phone call after telling Housh to “focus on the government” and “I love you.”
The timeline of Monday’s events raises valid doubts that Toese has in fact ended his relationship with Gibson and Patriot Prayer or the Proud Boys. Activists in the area say they are already looking into reporting Toese for violating his probation by taking part in yet another act of violence.