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Portland sports bar owner forced to shut down after business vandalized blasts city response to riots

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A Portland, Ore., sports bar owner told “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday that he is “totally frustrated” with the city’s response to riots that have damaged businesses and government buildings for nearly a year. 

Field Bar and Grill owner Jim Rice said he was forced to shut down his restaurant over the weekend after it was vandalized, despite his plea for help from city officials — who he said failed to step up.

“When we called the city, we had a lot of challenges just trying to get somebody’s attention,” Rice explained.

“When we did get through to them, they said they had a plan on how they were going to handle this planned riot on Saturday night,” Rice continued. “They were going to have the resources in order for them to be able to manage it and the reality is that they didn’t have anywhere near the resources to be able to handle it.”

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He noted that only about “50 police officers” were on hand “to handle 150 to 200 Antifa rioters” and it was basically just a bad street fight.”

“It wasn’t something where they had the resources to actually deal with the problem and make the community safe,” he continued.

Police noted in a news release on Sunday that officers were “constrained” in their ability to respond to the incidents because of several shootings across the city.

A 31-year-old was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief in the first degree and a 17-year-old was detained on charges of interfering with a peace officer and escape in the third degree.

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In a statement to Fox News, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said, “I condemn anyone who engages in violence, criminal destruction or intimidation of any kind, regardless of ideology.”

Wheeler also apologized to owners of the businesses that were damaged.

“The impact on you, your employees and our entire community is frustrating, costly and outrageous,” Wheeler said. “I’ve asked my team to reach out to the people impacted over the coming days.”

Portland has faced months of anti-police protests and rioting following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last May. 

Rice told “America’s Newsroom” that his business has been shut down for six out of 11 months due to the coronavirus pandemic and the riots in the city. He noted that the closure has affected his 18 employees, which include single mothers and fathers.

“The last thing that we need as we’re just trying to hang on is for us to have to invest in putting up boards and trying to protect our business from being damaged,” Rice said. 

“We have to protect our business and all they’re [the rioters are] doing is attacking these businesses that ultimately attack jobs,” he added.

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Rice went on to call the rioters “the most ineffective protestors in history.”

“They protest to defund the police and then spend the last nine months proving that we need more police, not less by destroying our city,” he said. “Every time they get together, our city gets damaged.”

Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

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