Vishal P Singh claimed he was attempting to help another person who was assaulted by the protesters when they turned on him.
"I was just severely injured by a mob of anti-vaxxers," he wrote on Twitter. "They were surrounding and assaulting someone. I went to film and help him escape. They attacked from behind. Possible concussion. Maced. Had to fight them off me by myself. Deployed mace in self defense after I was concussed."
A video of the encounter shows a group of protesters surround Mr Singh, who is wearing a mask and holding his phone up to record. One of the individuals punches Mr Singh, causing him to topple over. Two other individuals jump in at that point to defend him from being beaten further.
The journalist later said he was hospitalised and suffered multiple broken bones in his face, including his nose and eye sockets.
Warning: graphic language
Anti-vaccine protesters have been gathering frequently outside a restaurant in Harlowe to protest its policy that requires customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test to enter.
“The group returned for a second night with their brand of aggression and anti-semitism, once again comparing a vaccination mandate to the Holocaust and at one point point chanting, 'No Nazi Restaurant! No Nazi restaurant!'” the WeHo Times, a neighbourhood publication, reported on Thursday.
The publication reported that many of the protesters were also present at pro-Trump rallies in Beverly Hills last year, and that the group has a reputation for being hostile.
The organiser of the protest, Jason Lefkowitz, stated his intention in an Instragram Live post to make the area “unsafe”.
“What’s good about this in my eyes is making the area unsafe,” he told his followers. “It’s going to hurt the business even more. Trader Joe’s, which is right across the street, closed early because of everything going on, so it’s now on Harlowe.”
WeHo Times reported that another anti-vaccine protester got into a fight with the manager of a Vietnamese restaurant across the street from Harlowe. The owner reportedly told the protesters they were trespassing on his property and needed to leave. An anti-vaccine protester allegedly tried to grab his phone and then pepper sprayed him in the face. That protester was tackled by police and detained by a sheriff's deputy, though the culprit was eventually let go when the owner declined to press charges.
Another man, a Native American, was holding a sign that read “Your ignorance is a virus. Get vaccinated” and was reportedly rushed by a mob and shoved against a wall.
“With Trump out of office, they replaced their pro-Trump MAGA signs with Covid-19 conspiracies,” the site claims. “According to an Instagram Live post by Jason Lefkowitz, the organiser of the anti-vaccination protest, the goal is to make that area in West Hollywood unsafe, to hurt the business at Harlow and other businesses around the area.”
Conservative website Red State claimed that Mr Singh was a “doxxer” and a member of Antifa, but presented no evidence for those claims.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies