The criminal legal case against the Proud Boys who led a series of brutal assaults during an Aug. 22, 2021, rally in northeastern Portland, Oregon—particularly notorious street brawler Tusitala “Tiny” Toese—became sharply clearer this week, after a judge unsealed the indictments handed down in December by a grand jury naming both Toese and another Proud Boy.
The second man—Miles Douglas Furrow, 41, of Oregon City, Oregon—faces multiple counts of assault and riot after he was identified as the man who jumped into the front seat of a parked car the Proud Boys had identified as being driven by an antifascist and began brutally beating the driver. Toese had bashed out the windows of the car just prior to the assault.
On Tuesday, Furrow was arraigned on five counts of assault (three second-degree and two third-degree counts), one count of unlawful use of a weapon, and one count of criminal riot, all of them felony charges. He pleaded not guilty.
The indictment—handed down on Dec. 16 by Multnomah County, Oregon, authorities—also named Toese, charging him with six counts of assault, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of riot, and two counts of criminal mischief.
He was arrested Dec. 29 in his hometown of Vancouver, Washington, located across the Columbia River from Portland, on the secret warrant issued by a judge out of concern that Toese might be a flight risk; he was later transferred to Thurston County for detention there. He’s charged with three counts of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of riot, and two counts of criminal mischief.
The violence erupted when a phalanx of black-clad anti-fascists marched past the vacant Kmart parking lot where the rally was being held (the event had moved at the last hour after being originally scheduled for the downtown Portland waterfront), and a cluster of Proud Boys began chasing them. A van involved in the situation came to a halt at the edge of the parking lot, and its occupants also were chased down Sandy Boulevard.
A series of roving street battles followed, featuring sticks, batons, baseball bats, paintball and Airsoft guns, and wafting clouds of bear mace accompanied by bursts of fireworks. Participants on both sides carried large shields.
Some Proud Boys returned to the abandoned van—a Metro ambulance van designed to carry people with disabilities—and proceeded, at Toese’s urging, to break out its windows, then tip it over and destroy the equipment inside.
They also caught up to an anti-fascist at his parked pickup truck, which appeared to be carrying water supplied for the counterprotesters. With Toese again urging them on while breaking the car’s windows, they slashed the man’s tires and sprayed him with mace, after which one masked Proud Boy with fighting gloves—later identified as Furrow—entered the cab and began beating the man. The man eventually was able to get out of the truck and flee the scene.
Toese has been has been a central player in far-right Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys violence in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere since 2017. The charges he faces in Thurston County, stem from his involvement in the protests in Olympia at the Washington governor’s mansion the nights of Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, when a group of right-wing extremists invaded the grounds of the mansion and engaged law enforcement in a standoff while threatening to break inside. Gov. Jay Inslee was not in the residence at the time.