By Katabella Roberts
August 22, 2023Updated: August 22, 2023
Journalist Andy Ngo was awarded $300,000 in damages on Aug. 21 after a judge ruled in his favor in a lawsuit accusing three alleged Antifa rioters of having physically attacked him.
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Chanpone Sinlapasai found the three defendants, Corbyn (Katherine) Belyea, Madison “Denny” Lee Allen, and Joseph Evans—who now goes by the legal name of Sammich Overkill Schott-Deputy—liable for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress during the virtual court hearing at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.
The three defendants, who did not defend themselves in court and were found in default after not responding to Mr. Ngo’s complaint, were also ordered by the judge to equally split the damage payments among themselves.
Responding to the ruling, Mr. Ngo, editor-at-large for The Post Millennial news site, called it a “victory” but still a “small vindication for the disappointing jury verdict earlier this month at trial.”
During that trial, a jury in Portland cleared two activists of all civil liability in a lawsuit filed by Mr. Ngo alleging attacks against him beginning in 2019.
‘Determined to Hold Antifa Accountable’
“Collecting on these judgments will pose serious challenges; however, I’m deeply grateful for the support of the @liberty_ctr and my counsel Dorothy Yamamoto, Gregory Michael, Harmeet Dhillon, James Buchal and @mark_trammell for believing in me, and helping me hold these attackers accountable for trying to violently silence my First Amendment rights,” Mr. Ngo wrote on X.
Andy Ngo, a Portland-based journalist, is seen covered in an unknown substance after unidentified Rose City Antifa members attacked him in Portland, Ore., on June 29, 2019. (Moriah Ratner/Getty Images)
“While it will continue to be a steep uphill battle to collect today’s awarded damages given the default defendants’ history of evasion, I remain determined to hold Antifa and its members accountable for their violent attacks,” he added.
Monday’s ruling was the result of a lawsuit originally filed by the Center for American Liberty on behalf of the investigative journalist in 2020.
The lawsuit alleged the defendants and other Antifa members had sought to suppress Mr. Ngo’s activities “through a coordinated campaign of threatened and actual violence, harassment, and stalking.”
“Ngo, with his persistent reporting, has brought to light many misdeeds of this terrorist organization and is perhaps more responsible than any other American journalist for increasing public awareness of the threat Antifa and its followers pose to public safety,” the lawsuit stated.
“In retaliation for Ngo’s unfavorable coverage, and in an effort to intimidate Ngo from further revealing Antifa’s illegal acts, Defendants have targeted Ngo, including by assaulting and threatening Ngo to the point of causing lasting and significant physical injuries; publicizing private and personal information about the whereabouts of Ngo and his family; and even attempting to break into his family’s home, among a multitude of other threats and acts of violence,” his lawyers said.
Specifically, Mr. Ngo had accused the three defendants of attacking him in June 2019 during protests in Portland, Oregon.
‘Pain, Humiliation, and Emotional Distress’
According to the lawsuit (pdf), Mr. Ngo was recording video of protests involving Rose City Antifa in Portland when he was attacked on two separate occasions in one day—first by alleged Antifa members, who threw “milkshakes” at him that police later said contained quick-drying concrete, and then again, when the attackers “suddenly mobbed and bloodied” him, throwing eggs and more of the purported “milkshakes” at him before punching and kicking him.
“Defendant Joseph Christian Evans was among the group of assailants who attacked Ngo,” the lawsuit states. “Evans was one of the first to strike Ngo, his actions inciting further violence against Ngo. Defendant Madison Lee Allen was among the group of assailants who attacked Ngo. Lee struck Ngo over the head with [a] placard, while sporting green hair and a light, red-colored bandanna,” it states.
During the incident, Mr. Ngo was able to “break away” and later walked to the central police precinct, as directed by a medic team associated with the Portland Police, according to the lawsuit. He was then taken by ambulance to a hospital at Oregon Health & Science University where, after testing, he was “diagnosed with a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage and hospitalized overnight.”
“As a result of the attacks, Ngo suffered severe pain, humiliation, and emotional distress, for which he continues to receive treatment,” the lawsuit says.
During Monday’s trial, an attorney for Mr. Schott-Deputy argued his client had been unable to respond to the order to appear in court because he was homeless and serving prison sentences in both New York and Oregon at the time he had been served, The Post Millennial reported.
However, the judge rejected the attorney’s efforts to avoid a defeat by default, arguing that Mr. Schott-Deputy was fully aware of the lawsuit against him, which has been cited in multiple news reports.
Mr. Ngo told the court during his testimony via remote video that the “near-death experience” he had during the attack in 2019 has been the subject of a continuous joke by “violent extremists,” which he said was both “distressing” and “scary,” Oregon Live reported.