The man who was pepper-sprayed by Ted Wheeler after confronting the Portland mayor about COVID-19 dining rules on Sunday is a lawyer and heir to a dairy fortune whose sale to a business rival resulted in a bitter lawsuit that divided the family.
Cary Randall Cadonau was identified by Portland police as the man who accosted Wheeler while he was dining with former Mayor Sam Adams outside McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House on Sunday night at around 8pm.
Cadonau is a partner at a mid-size downtown Portland law firm. According to his bio posted online, he specializes in estate, business litigation, family law, personal injury, and criminal defense.
Cadonau made news in the fall of 2019 when his family was in the midst of a bitter dispute over the sale of Alpenrose Dairy, the more-than-a-century old 55-acre dairy farm in Southwest Portland that was founded by his great-grandfather, Henry Cadenau.
Cadonau and his two siblings sued their aunts and cousins after they removed his father from the company board for opposing the sale of the business to a rival farm in Kent, Washington – Smith Brothers Farms.
Cadonau is married with two young daughters, according to his spokesperson, Mara Woloshin.
Cary Randall Cadonau (above) was identified by Portland police as the man who was pepper-sprayed by Mayor Ted Wheeler while he was dining with former Mayor Sam Adams outside McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House on Sunday night at around 8pm
Cary Cadonau is pictured with his wife, Ashley Cadonau. They have two young daughters
Wheeler (above) used pepper spray on Cadonau after he says Cadonau got within a foot of him while not wearing a mask
Wheeler was with former Portland mayor Sam Adams when the man confronted the pair of them outside McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House (pictured) on Sunday night
Cadonau released a statement through Woloshin saying he was ‘remorseful’ for confronting Wheeler and was ‘sorry that he felt the need to use pepper spray.’
‘I cherish Portland and our local community and recognize that Mayor Wheeler has a very difficult job,’ Cadonau said in his statement.
‘I have contacted Mayor Wheeler’s office to request an opportunity to amicably resolve this matter.’
Cadonau also apologized to his law firm, Brownstein Rask LLP.
Wheeler filed a report with the Portland Police Bureau about the incident
Wheeler told police that Cadonau also tried to obtain surveillance footage of the mayor in a restaurant and get a copy of his meal receipt
Initially, Cadonau indicated that he was inclined to release the cell phone video of the incident to the public, but Woloshin told DailyMail.com that she believes ‘it’s not in the best interest of either gentlemen.’
‘It’s a deep desire to move on,’ she said.
Wheeler told The Oregonian/Oregon Live on Thursday that he appreciated Cadonau’s apology and that he ‘considered the matter closed.’
‘I’m hopeful that this will be a catalyst for all of us to return to healthy, respectful civic dialogue,’ the mayor said.
Wheeler and Adams had been inside the pub’s tent before Cadonau, who was not wearing a mask, approached them about being unmasked while dining.
According to a statement the mayor gave to police, Wheeler told the man of current COVID-19 regulations, which allows people to take their mask off to eat or drink.
‘He then accused me of other things to which I indicated he did not understand the rules and should probably have a better understanding if he was going to confront people about them,’ Wheeler said in his statement.
Wheeler said that the man stood within one or two feet of him and Wheeler became concerned for his safety and contracting COVID-19.
Wheeler told the man to ‘back off’ and that he was carrying pepper spray, which he would use if necessary.
When the man did not listen, the mayor said he sprayed him in the eyes.
‘He seemed surprised and backed off,’ Wheeler told police.
Cadonau is the great-grandson of Henry Cadonau, the founder of Alpenrose Dairy
Alpenrose Dairy is seen above in Portland, Oregon. The company was bought by a Seattle-area rival, Smith Brothers Farms, in 2019
‘He made a comment like, “I can’t believe you just pepper sprayed me”.’
Cadonau is alleged to have also tried to obtain surveillance footage of the mayor in the restaurant and get a copy of his meal receipt.
Adams, whose statement to police was consistent with the mayor’s, suggested to Wheeler he should leave for his safety.
Before doing so, Wheeler said he threw a bottle of water towards the man so that he could wash his eyes, he told police.
Cadonau told police when contacted Monday that he didn’t want to discuss the matter because he was an attorney.
He said the mayor should be held ‘accountable’ but declined to elaborate, according to the police report.
Cadonau was asked why he attempted to get surveillance footage from the restaurant in Portland’s Hillsdale neighborhood as well as his food and drink receipt from the pub, according to the report.
‘Mr. Cadonau said he wanted the receipt because it would show how much alcohol the mayor consumed that evening. I asked him multiple times if he wanted to talk about the incident, share his video footage, or provide his side of the story but he respectfully declined to say anything more,’ Officer Matt Miller wrote.
In early 2019, Cary Cadonau’s father, Carl Cadonau Jr (left), was ousted as co-president of Alpenrose Dairy by members of the board which included his two sisters – Barbara Deeming and Anita Cadonau Huseby (right) – and two cousins – Rob and Wendell Birkland
Carl Cadonau Jr objected to the sale of the family business to Smith Brothers Farms. Instead, he wanted the company to be sold to his three children – Cary Cadonau (pictured above with his wife, Ashley), Carl Cadonau III, and Tracey Cadonau McKinnon
Cary Cadonau and his two siblings – Tracey Cadonau McKinnon (left) and Carl Cadonau III (right) – sued their aunts and cousins in an attempt to block the sale of Alpenrose Dairy to Smith Brothers Farms. But a judge refused to grant their request for an injunction
No charges have been filed in the incident.
An audio recording captured by Adams during the confrontation, which was submitted to police as evidence, shows the moment Wheeler tells the man: ‘Apparently you don’t know the rules.’
A rustling sound is heard party way through the audio recording, before the man who approached Wheeler and Adams is heard saying: ‘You just pepper sprayed me.’
In a statement given to the police, Wheeler then told the man that wearing a face covering while eating is not required.
In the incident report, Wheeler also said: ‘I became imminently concerned for my personal safety.
Adams, whose statement to police was consistent with the mayor’s, suggested to Wheeler he should leave for his safety. Before doing so, Wheeler said he threw a bottle of water towards the man so that he could wash his eyes.
In a statement, Wheeler’s spokesperson Tim Becker said: ‘The mayor is cooperating with the police investigation and encourages others involved to do the same.’
In early 2019, Cadonau’s father, Carl Cadonau Jr, was ousted as co-president of Alpenrose Dairy by members of the board which included his two sisters – Barbara Deeming and Anita Cadonau Huseby – and two cousins – Rob and Wendell Birkland.
Cadonau Jr. was the only board member to oppose the sale of the dairy to a Seattle-area rival, Smith Brothers Farms.
He instead wanted his three grown children – Cary Cadonau, Carl Cadonau III, and Tracey Cadonau McKinnon – to purchase the company, according to The Oregonian/Oregon Live.
The three siblings filed a lawsuit against their aunts and cousins seeking to block the sale to Smith Brothers Farms.
In the lawsuit, the siblings accused their relatives of breaching their duty as board members by rejecting their $7million stock offer, which they claimed was superior to that of Smith Brothers Farms.
A judge, however, declined to issue an injunction blocking the sale. He also ordered the family to enter mediation.
The sale was completed and the company is in the hands of Smith Brothers Farms, but the three siblings issued an amended complaint. The case remains tied up in the courts.
This is not the first time Wheeler has been approached by a member of the public while dining out.
On January 6 he was punched in the face while dining at Café Nell’s.
Wheeler was dining outdoors with a companion when the protesters walked up to him and began shouting obscenities at the Democratic mayor.
Portland made national news when riots hit the city for more than 100 nights in a row last summer as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with police in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.
What began with calls to defund the police and reinvest in communities spiraled into anti-government demonstrations, including calls for Wheeler’s resignation.
The video shows Wheeler dining at Café Nell’s in Northwest Portland when he is approached by a group of protesters.
A person off-camera can then be heard yelling at the mayor who remains calm throughout the video addressing him by his middle name Tevis.
A group of people confronted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler while he was dining in Northwest Portland on the night of January 6
Wheeler and a companion were seated outdoors when a group started shouting obscenities at him
Tracy Molina, a prominent Portland activist, confronted Wheeler and allegedly punched him
Portland endured more than 100 nights of rioting during last summer’s protest over racial inequality and police brutality the ramifications of which are still raw
Wheeler asks the person yelling at him how old he is before telling him he needs to grow up.
‘You are going to be made to feel like the scum you are,’ the protester says in the video. ‘F*** you! F*** you! Shame on you!’
‘I think you need to do your job as a f***ing mayor. I think you’re a disgrace,’ he replies after Wheeler says that he thinks the group should leave. ‘How dare you do sweeps when people are still on the streets.’
‘You think that we’re going to forget about you? We’re never going to forget you, Tevis. Ever. Ever. I hope you enjoyed your little wine… you’re f*****, Tevis.’
After the incident, Wheeler was asked about the hostility he has encountered in public.
‘That’s not OK,’ Wheeler told KGW-TV.
‘And the reason it’s not OK is because ultimately I think it’s an act of intimidation.
‘And when I talk to my friends and they see these things, they’re like, “This is why I would never run for public office.”
‘I’ve heard from some of my friends in the media that people don’t like to write letters to the editor, with their names on them anymore.
‘That’s really having a dampening impact on democracy.’