Former Portland mayoral candidate says he helped "neutralize" co - KPTV - FOX 12

Former Portland mayoral candidate says he helped "neutralize" counter protesters at PDX

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A former Portland mayoral candidate admitted today he was involved in this clash between protesters and counter-protesters that left one man knocked out at Portland International Airport.

Jessie Sponberg did not fully admit to punching counter protester Grant Chisholm, but, he did say he helped "neutralize" counter protesters, in what he called a crazy situation.

Chisholm told FOX 12 he is a member of a group of street preachers called "Bible Believers USA.”

On a Facebook video post, Sponberg alluded that he was involved in neutralizing the religious counter protesters, who he says became violent. Sponberg never outright admitted to punching and knocking out Chisholm, but he did say that he supported it.

"A crazy situation was quickly diffused in what I consider to be a relatively noble move. It could have gotten really ugly in there,” Sponberg said.

Sponberg said he had to get in and help other protesters when a member of the street preaching group took another protester to the ground.

“It wasn't about religion. It wasn't about politics. This is about stopping a violent and threatening series of behaviors in a vacuum,” Sponberg said.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve ever got whacked in the head, the first time somebody’s threatened me, but obviously I’m going to be a little more careful. I’m not going to bring anymore family members. I’m going to have to have some kind of security or something,” Chisholm said.

In his video, Sponberg called the street preachers "bullies" that broke his glasses and threw his hat off the sky bridge.

Sponberg talked to the Port of Portland Police on Thursday with his lawyer. Officers are still investigating.

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