Tusitala “Tiny” Toese — an infamous Proud Boy street brawler who was shot in the leg during a violent clash with antifascist protesters this summer in Olympia, Washington — has been arrested and jailed on felony warrants from both Washington state and Oregon.
Toese was booked into the Thurston County, Washington, jail system on Jan. 5 and is being held not far from the state Capitol. He faces three Washington state charges: Assault in the third degree, a felony, as well as obstructing a law enforcement officer and criminal trespass in the second degree, both gross misdemeanors. The charges — as elaborated in this story — relate to Toese’s alleged involvement storming the grounds of the Governor’s mansion in Olympia on Jan. 6, 2021.
Toese is also being held for extradition to Oregon on a warrant for a litany of serious charges, including three counts of assault in the second degree, three charges of assault in the third degree, two charges of riot — all felonies — as well as two charges of criminal mischief, and two unspecified weapons charges. A source in the Multnomah County district attorney’s office confirms that the charges stem from a violent street brawl in late August in Portland.
Despite Toese’s high profile as a right-wing militant, his arrest was not announced to the media. He was arrested in Clark County, in Southern Washington state, and later transferred to Thurston County.
Here are the Thurston County (WA) jail booking records for “Tiny” Toese. pic.twitter.com/Vm03u0vcGN
— Tim Dickinson (@7im) January 18, 2022
Toese, who reportedly stands 6’ 4” and weighs nearly 300 pounds, goes by the nickname “Tiny.” He is in his mid twenties and a resident of Vancouver, Washington, across the Columbia River from Portland. He has been a fixture at violent street protests in the Pacific Northwest in recent years. He has been affiliated with both the Proud Boys, as well as with a local far-right group called Patriot Prayer; both groups make sport of clashing with Antifa in the streets. (A Patriot Prayer member was killed on the streets of Portland in 2020, allegedly by the Antifa activist Michael Reinoehl, who was later gunned down by federal marshals, in an act President Trump touted as “retribution.”)
Toese has previously been jailed for charges stemming from a 2018 assault at a protest. Notwithstanding his criminal record, Toese has also reportedly served as sergeant-at-arms for the Clark County Washington GOP, providing security for local Republican officials.
As Rolling Stone reported in a feature last summer about how the Pacific Northwest is turning into a proving ground for violent clashes between political militants of the far right and -left, Toese appeared at an (ironically named) “Summer of Love” event in Portland last August. It quickly degenerated into a brawl between right-wing militants and anti-fascists, and Toese was photographed riding around in the back of a red pickup truck with a paintball gun.
As the summer’s “fighting season” dragged on, Toese showed up at a right-wing anti-vax event in Olympia, the capital of Washington state. There, amid clashes between right wingers and black-bloc activists, Toese was shot in the leg. An independent journalist captured the aftermath:
Tiny of the #ProudBoys has been shot here in Olympia, Washington. The shooting took place .8 miles away from the state Capitol, after Proud Boys pursued #Antifa Black Bloc- who showed up within a square block of a Medical Freedom protest. pic.twitter.com/QMZxFasWRJ
— Jeremy Quinn (@JLeeQuinn) September 4, 2021
Toese was hospitalized for his gunshot injury; given the pending warrants against him, it’s unclear why he was not arrested at that time.
The Multnomah County district attorney’s office confirms reporting by the Portland Mercury, that it issued a “secret indictment” for Toese stemming from the late August Portland melee. This legal instrument is used when there’s concern that a public warrant could prompt a suspect to flee. A source at the DA’s office said that the extradition process to Oregon “is going to be a little bit delayed for us” given the serious Washington state charges Toese faces, but adds: “We’re very motivated to hold Tiny accountable.”