Suspect Pleads Not Guilty To Racially-Biased Crimes In Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man arrested for yelling racial slurs and punching a father and his 5-year-old daughter is facing new charges after an incident this past April came to light.  34-year-old Dylan Kesterson pleaded not guilty to charges in court on Wednesday.

Witnesses say Kesterson made a comment about his perception that the victims were of Japanese descent before assaulting the father and daughter from California while riding their bikes on the Eastbank Esplanade near the Hawthorne Bridge on the afternoon of July 2nd.

He punched the man in the head and hit the girl in her bike helmet several times.  They were injured, but did not need medical attention.  The father testified in court that he feared he was going to die.

Witnesses came to the victim’s aid and Kesterson walked away.  He was arrested nearby, but released from the Multnomah County Detention Center before spending a night in jail.  A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to show at a court hearing last week and he was arrested again just blocks from the courthouse.

After the story was shown on the news, the victims of another attack came forward.  An indictment accuses Kesterson of harassing and yelling racial slurs at three women of Asian decent on April 17th and causing physical injury to one of them.

Kesterson was indicted this week on 19 different counts of assault, attempted assault, bias crime, harassment, menacing, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.

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