Joseph Hall said he was simply trying to go back home after his workday in Portland. However, he was soon involved in an armed standoff with militant leftists who had closed off roads as part of their protests against police brutality. Hall, a 53-year-old handyman, ended up in the hospital with several broken bones and other serious injuries after the black-clad militants severely beat him up.
While driving home in his red pickup truck, a moped allegedly cut him off. Then a man with a handheld radio instructed Hall to stop his truck. Hall claims that another vehicle blocked his path, “and all of a sudden I have three or four people around me.” Some members of the group dressed in all black were armed, and pointed their rifles at Hall.
Hall told The Oregonian how the situation escalated quickly:
Hall said he grabbed hold of a non-lethal handgun that can shoot hard pellets to try to get the people to clear the way and hadn’t realized there was a march until people circled his truck. He said he heard a woman outside on a megaphone yelling at the crowd to let him go, but the people continued to block his truck and call him a “Nazi.”
“They’re screaming and yelling at me, claiming I was out there trying to run people over. That’s when I discovered a march was going on,” he said. “I was trapped. A vehicle in front of me trapped me in. I couldn’t go forward or around.”
Hall is seen on video standing outside the driver’s seat of his red pickup, his door open, holding the firearm, while a man standing in the street points a rifle at him at North Alberta Street and Michigan Avenue. Hall can be heard yelling: “You have about five seconds to lower that weapon,” as others respond that his truck is a weapon.
Hall said he stepped out of his pickup and someone snatched the keys from the truck. When he went around to the back of the truck, he said several people in the crowd remained hostile and pointed handguns and rifles at him. He said he then pulled his .38-caliber pistol from his pants and headed into the fray.
“I’m trained in the military to walk towards the threat and fight your way through the threat,” said Hall. He said he served in the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army and has a concealed weapons permit out of Columbia County.
Video shows that the intense confrontation became violent as Hall was shoved by one of the protesters and then tackled from behind by another. More members of the group punch, kick, and hold Hall on the ground. Hall’s .38-caliber gun popped out of his hand and was stolen. He claims that other firearms and tools were stolen from his truck during the attack.
(Content Warning: Graphic content):
Man pulls gun on JFPK march after trying to drive into crowd.
Hall was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital for his various injuries from the assault, which he says include a partially collapsed left lung, two fractured vertebrae, a broken collarbone, five broken ribs, and head trauma.
Despite his horrific injuries that landed him in the hospital, Hall told KPTV-TV, “I stood my ground and I would do it all over again.”
Hall also said he is finished with the lawlessness of Portland.
“I’m done, I’m done working in Portland,” Hall stated. “I’m shutting my business down and I’m probably not going to be coming back.”
Hall filed a police report for assault, and said he would be pursuing bias crime charges based on what the mob was shouting at him.
The Portland Police Bureau mentioned the assault on Hall, as well as attacks on others: “People in the crowd broke out their vehicle windows, damaged tires, and sprayed them with some kind of irritant near North Interstate Avenue and North Killingsworth Street.”
“Additional calls came in from people who had been driving vehicles in the area and who were blocked by the crowd in the street,” the Portland Police said, but did not report any arrests stemming from the incidents.