Journalist Andy Ngo has filed a lawsuit against Rose City Antifa following 2019 assaults carried out against him by the group in Portland, Ore.
Ngo faced a series of attacks while covering the violence incited by the local Antifa group, including one where he was beaten by a mob that continued to harass him as he attempted to walk away, according to the lawsuit.
The suit, filed Thursday by attorney Harmeet Dhillon of the Center for American Liberty, includes claims of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and Oregon's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.
"Defendants and their fellow Antifa members or supporters and 'allies' have physically accosted and viciously assaulted Ngo at protests that he was covering, stolen his photographic equipment, publicized the addresses of his family home and mother’s business, tried to force entry into his house, and stalked him in his personal life, including by attacking and stealing his phone while at a gym," the suit says.
Five individual members of Antifa and its "allies" were identified and named in the suit: Corbyn (Katherine) Belyea, Benjamin Bolen, Joseph Christian Evans, John Hacker and Madison Lee Allen, in addition to Luis Marquez, who is named as "one of the leaders" of the Antifa group, according to the paperwork.
The suit, filed in Oregon's Multnomah County and obtained by Fox News, includes several images of Ngo's attackers from videos taken during the incidents.
On May 1, 2019, while covering the pro-labor holiday "May Day" in Portland, Ngo was stuck by Bolen in the abdomen and was maced by an unidentified individual, the suit says.
On May 7, Hacker threw an "unknown liquid" on Ngo at the gym as an apparent "retaliation" to his Antifa reporting and took his phone as he began to record the altercation. Gym staff intervened and Ngo's phone was returned.
The following month, on June 29, Ngo was attacked by "milkshakes" that were believed to have quick-dry concrete, including by Belyea, according to the lawsuit.
"Later, at the same protest, without warning, Ngo was suddenly mobbed and bloodied by a group of Rose City Antifa members and others, including Does 21-43, who threw projectiles, including milkshakes, eggs, and containers; punched; and kicked him. Members also hit him in the head with plywood hard-edged sign placards, and carbon-hardened tactical gloves," the suit said.
Evans and Allen were among the mob that had attacked him.
Ngo was later taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage.
On Oct. 31, 2019, six members of Antifa appeared at the home of Ngo's family residence wearing masks of his face.
"They banged on Ngo’s windows, rang the doorbell, and tried to gain entry into Ngo’s family home by trying the door handle to see if the door was locked or not," the suit said, with an image from security camera footage. "Soon after this incident, Ngo realized that personal information about him, his family, and his mother’s small business had been released publicly. Upon information and belief, the six masked individuals were Antifa members who used the publicized information to track Andy to his house and intimidate him."
Ngo, who says he has ongoing neurological and health issues from the attacks, called the lawsuit a "turning point" following the inaction of local authorities over the course of 11 months.
"For more than a year, Antifa extremists have subjected my family and I to a campaign of intimidation and terror from my reporting and documentation of their violent extremism as a journalist," Ngo said during a virtual news conference. "The freedom of the press is a cherished right that makes up one of the pillars of our liberal democracy... Journalists cannot be cowed by threats and violence by those who are threatened by the truth."
Ngo suspected based on his own reporting that the "progressive," "anti-police" environment in Portland had prevented law enforcement to pursue any criminal investigations against the members of Antifa.
Dhillion insisted that the timing of the lawsuit has nothing to do with the riots that have taken place across the country following the death of George Floyd. Earlier in the day, FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that Antifa was among the groups that are being investigated for acts of violence that occurred in various cities over the past several days.
"There is no impetus for the timing other than as a lawyer who believes in the criminal justice process, we wanted to give as much time as possible to the authorities because it's really their job to do what we're doing here today. And unfortunately, they did not do their job," Dhillion told Fox News.
"I'm a lawyer with a big caseload of COVID civil rights litigation that has kept me occupied for about 18 hours a day for the past two-and-a-half months, and so it has actually been something we had planned to file probably a few weeks ago had it not been for the COVID situation."
Dhillion said that despite the criminal organization being an "unincorporated association," Oregon state law allows such groups to face legal action.
On Thursday, Project Veritas released undercover video billed as “a video exposing the violent nature of the controversial group” in light of the recent events.
“I’ve been undercover with Rose City Antifa… depending on the setting, if I were to be caught or found out in a setting where I am present with them, it could escalate to violence against me,” a Project Veritas undercover journalist, who says he is no longer embedded in Antifa, says on camera.
The video then shows the alleged undercover footage of an Antifa member identified as Nicholas Cifuni telling others, “Don’t be that f-----g guy with the goddamn spike brass knuckles getting photos taking of you. Police are going to be like ‘perfect we can prosecute these f-----s, look how violent they are’ and not that we aren’t but we need to f-----g hide that s--t.”
The undercover journalist said he is “about halfway” through the prospecting process to become a member of the violent group. It is unclear when the Antifa meeting that was secretly recorded occurred, but it appears to have taken place before recent protests related to Floyd’s death.
Wearing a black mask to protect his identity, the undercover journalist explained the steps Antifa allegedly takes to secretly meet with prospective members
“The whole goal of this is to get out there and do dangerous things as safely as possible,” a member is heard telling the group.
“Practice things like an eye gouge, it takes very little pressure to injure someone’s eyes,” the man identified as Cifuni said. “Consider, like, destroying your enemy, not, like, delivering a really awesome right hand, right eye, left eye blow, you know? It’s not boxing, it’s not kickboxing, it’s, like, destroying your enemy”
The undercover journalist said Antifa encourages members to dress in “Black Block,” which he says is a way of dressing that helps conceal the identity of members.
“They do not hesitate to either push back or incite some kind of violence. In our classes and in our meetings, before we do any sort of demonstration or Black Block, we talk about weapons detail and what we carry and what we should have,” the undercover journalist said.
Project Veritas founder and CEO James O’Keefe added a disclaimer that his group does not condone violence.
“It is a sad time in our nation’s history with Antifa activists hijacking #blacklivesmatter protests in cities across the country, attacking the police and engaging in violence,” O’Keefe wrote. “In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized & driven by anarchic left extremist groups -- far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics.”
Earlier this week, Ngo told Fox News that “left-wing media, liberal media, establishment media, legacy media, has many sympathies” with Antifa’s goal.
“The superficial resistance against the Trump administration, against conservatism, against the GOP, they have that in common with them,” Ngo said. “Liberal ignorance of what and who Antifa actually are and their history.”
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.