Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include additional tweets from Andy Ngô following the trial.
Journalist Andy Ngô has lost the criminal trial against Portland, Oregon-based journalist John Hacker, who was acquitted of third-degree robbery charges following a dispute in May 2019.
Ngô accused Hacker of pouring an unidentified liquid on his head before beating him and taking his phone at a 24 Hour Fitness in Northeast Portland. Hacker claimed he wanted to avoid being filmed by Ngô, according to OregonLive.
Both journalists reported on the May Day labor protests in 2019, and Hacker said he was “resentful and irritated” at Ngô after believing he lied about what happened at the protests.
Hacker went on to grab a bottle of water to pour over Ngô, who was one floor below. Two gym managers then tried to calm the situation after Ngô rushed upstairs to confront Hacker.
Ngô said that’s when he pulled out his phone to record out of fear for his safety. Hacker reportedly smacked the device out of his hand and broke its phone cover. Ngô added that Hacker walked away with his phone when he tried to pick it back up.
Hacker was found not guilty by Judge Eric L. Dahlin, who said he believed beyond a reasonable doubt that the 38-year-old journalist had no criminal intent.
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Both men testified in the seven-hour bench trial, which is conducted and decided by the judge alone.
Ngô faced heavy criticism online during his testimony, with some comparing statements he made to police the day of the incident and his testimony.
Hacker took to Twitter after his acquittal to say that Ngô was “caught in some lies on the stand.”
During the cross-examination, Ngô admitted to being aware that his tweets make other people the targets of threats and violence.
“Do you acknowledge that when you tweet about someone online, they can potentially make them a target in the same way that you’ve been targeted?” the attorney asked, to which Ngô responded: “Yes.”
Ngô, who is now pursuing a civil suit against Hacker and “other Antifa members,” also took to Twitter to claim that he had received violent threats during the trial. The Post Millennial
editor-at-large further explained that Hacker was lying during his examination by the Multnomah County Deputy DA.