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Scottsdale prosecutors mum on potential charges for Gilbert Ortega Jr.

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, March 2, 2023 - 8:05am

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Gilbert Ortega Native American Galleries in Old Town Scottsdale
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Gilbert Ortega Native American Galleries in Old Town Scottsdale.

Scottsdale city prosecutors have not said if they’ll charge a man seen on video mocking Native American dancers in Old Town last month with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

A police report about the incident obtained through a public records request does not say if officers tried to talk to Gilbert Ortega Jr.

Scottsdale police say investigators did contact Ortega's lawyer, who said his client would not give a statement.

Ortega’s family has traded in Native American artwork since the early 1800s.

Per the report, one of the dancers Ortega mocked outside of his family’s gallery told police that harassment by Ortega was not new.

A nearby business owner was reluctant to talk to police because they feared retaliation from Ortega. Another owner said the dancers antagonized Ortega by calling him a “short little guy with short man syndrome.”

Ortega did not reply to a request for comment.