Michael Roylos, a Portland businessman, speaks to a reporter about his Sidewalk Buttler tobacco receptacle in 2014. Portland police charged Roylos with aggravated assault and Interference with Constitutional and Civil Rights. Credit: Seth Koenig / BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland woman told police that she was physically assaulted by a man who used homophobic slurs in an altercation in a supermarket parking lot Friday evening.

Alana Reali, 38, made a social media post around 6 p.m. Friday claiming that a man had put her in a chokehold and punched her in the back of the head after an altercation in a parking lot outside a Shaw’s supermarket in Portland’s North Deering neighborhood. Reali called it a homophobic attack because the man was cursing and calling her homophobic slurs.

“Thankfully there were people there as I was screaming bloody murder,” Reali wrote in the social media post. “If no one was around this man would have killed me.”

Michael Roylos, a 63-year-old Portland man, was issued summonses for aggravated assault, assault, criminal threatening, and interference with constitutional and civil rights, Portland police spokesperson Robert Martin said.

According to her account, Reali had entered the Shaw’s parking lot to park her car when she encountered Roylos, who was exiting the supermarket with his groceries. She pulled her vehicle into one parking spot between two large trucks and slowly crossed the dividing line into another empty spot as Roylos watched from outside his vehicle.

After she got out of her vehicle, Roylos approached her and accused her of driving recklessly. Roylos told Reali that “she can’t drive through parking spaces like that,” she said. He called after her as she began to walk toward the store, telling her that “that was the last time [she will] get away with that,” according to Reali. Reali said she told Roylos to leave her alone, and Roylos allegedly swore at her and called her a homophobic slur.

Reali went back to her car to get her phone in order to photograph Roylos when he lunged at her, putting her in a chokehold, punching her and screaming “multiple death threats” at her. Roylos said “I’ll kill you, faggot,” according to Reali.

“I’m screaming ‘Please help’ and pleading for my life,” Reali said.

As multiple passersby witnessed the scene and called police, Reali broke loose and fell to the ground. Roylos and Reali remained separated until police arrived.

Reali was transported to Maine Medical for injuries and released from the hospital late Friday night. “My ankle is the absolute worst but everything hurts,” she said around midnight.

Roylos is the founder of the Sidewalk Buttler, a tobacco receptacle mounted to signposts and utility poles. Roylos installed dozens of receptacles in downtown Portland in 2014 in an unpermitted pilot program that became an informal partnership with the city, according to city spokesperson Jessica Grondin. The city took over the Sidewalk Buttler receptacles in 2018 and has no active contracts with him. Roylos also owned and operated the Spartan Grill, a sandwich shop in Monument Square, which closed in 2014.

Attempts to reach Roylos were unsuccessful.