Portland, Ore. – Molotov cocktails were found outside two Southeast Portland homes and police are investigating both cases as biased crimes. Authorities believe the people who live in at least one of the homes were targeted because of their sexual orientation. Detectives were going door-to-door last night near Ed Benedict Park interviewing neighbors. A Molotov cocktail was found in the yard of a home on Southeast 104th Avenue Monday afternoon. Less than 24 hours later another one was found at a home on the same street, and the victims there received threatening text messages from an unknown number. Detectives are asking people with home surveillance systems to check their cameras for anything suspicious.
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On Tuesday August 13, 2019 at 9:37a.m., East Precinct officers responded to another residence in the 3900 block of Southeast 104th Avenue on a similar report where a molotov cocktail was found in the yard.
After the officers cleared the scene in the second incident, the resident received intimidating text messages from the alleged suspect stating that they were targeted due to their sexual orientation. The text messages were from a phone number that the victim did not recognize. At 11:38a.m., officers received a call with the additional information about the text messages and returned to the location to investigate. Arson investigators responded to the scene to assist.
There have been no reported injuries as a result of these incidents. Investigators believe there may be more victims related to this case. Victims are encouraged to file a police report as soon as possible by calling the non-emergency line at (503)823-3333.
Both incidents are being investigated as bias crimes. The Portland Police Bureau’s Detective Division is continuing the investigation. Anyone with information, including video surveillance footage of these incidents should contact Detective Hopper at 503-823-3408.
The Bureau investigates all reports of bias-motivated crimes and encourages any member of our community who is the victim of such a crime to contact law enforcement. Under Oregon law, bias crimes are defined as any criminal act that targets a victim based on the suspect’s perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Detectives work to determine whether or not bias elements are present during the reported crime that align with Oregon law as defined in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS):
* ORS 166.165 – Intimidation in the First Degree – https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.165
* ORS 166.155 – Intimidation in the Second Degree – https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.155
If you have been the victim of a bias crime assault or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you have been the victim of a different bias crime and the suspect is no longer present, such as vandalism or graffiti, please call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.
To learn more about bias crime investigations and reported bias/hate crime statistics within the City of Portland, please visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/77066
Additionally, the City of Portland is a partner in Portland United Against Hate, which is a community initiated partnership of Community Based Organizations, Neighborhood Associations, concerned communities and the City. To learn more, please visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/72583