A Tucson group received a harsh welcome from a fellow Arizonan at a federal building occupied by armed militia in Oregon.
Three men led by Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer, founder of the Veterans on Patrol group that built a shelter for homeless veterans and others at Santa Rita Park, arrived in Burns, Oregon, on Wednesday to get a friend out of the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The Oregonian newspaper reported a fight broke out between Meyer’s group and militant group member Blaine Cooper, whose Facebook page says he lives in Humboldt, Arizona.
Meyer said Cooper punched him in the back of the head; Phoenix resident Jon Ritzheimer said Meyer’s group shoved a guard, causing the guard to bloody his hand.
In a Facebook message Cooper said Meyer and two men entered the refuge Wednesday night and assaulted a disabled Vietnam veteran. They then “stormed into the refuge” and assaulted Cooper.
“I do believe Lewis (Meyer) is a Paid Provocateur by the Fed’s (sic) to divide and destroy,” Cooper wrote in the post.
Meyer told the Oregonian he went to the compound to get a friend, but the friend decided to stay. Meyer then tried to get women and children in the compound to leave, but was stopped by militia members.
The Veterans on Patrol Facebook page said militia members assaulted the group’s “Crisis Response Team.” One of the Veterans on Patrol members was taken to the hospital with what The Oregonian reported was a black eye.